The South Brunswick Township Police Department made a press release and said the cost caused the businesses to lose several thousands of dollars.
34-year-old Sudeep Khetani called various restaurants and pizzerias in three countries in New Jersey and “each time he indicated he would pick up the order or it was intended for local police,” the police department’s press release said.
“In several of the follow-up calls the pizzerias made to the phone number that placed the order, Khetani would make statements about Italians and wished they would be affected with the coronavirus,” NBC News reports police as saying.
Authorities said Mr. Khetani was using a voice override service that masked his true phone numbers, but that detectives were able to uncover his real identity.
Officers said Mr. Khetani is believed to currently be living in the Orlando, Florida area, and that he is on probation for selling fake Disney World tickets. Authorities in New Jersey are working with police in Florida in an effort to locate Khetani.
“It is incomprehensible that a suspect would play on the goodwill of so many during these difficult times,” a statement by South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said according to NBC News. “We have had several residents send us food, which I appreciate tremendously, but this suspect has gone to a new low.”
“I will pursue the strongest of charges and make sure the businesses get their money back,” Hayducka mentioned.
“Our businesses are all struggling and every dollar matters. I will not tolerate someone trying to take advantage of our community in these difficult days,” Hayducka continued.
Sudeep Khetani is facing a theft charge, and authorities are taking into consideration if the crimes could be biased in nature or if the crimes fall under being cyber harassment.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.