YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: They seemed like good Samaritans at first, but two sanitation workers from Paterson who found a wandering 4-year-old boy on a Ridgewood street and returned him and his grandmother’s wallet — with items missing — were arrested soon after, police said.
The youngster wandered off from the South Maple Avenue home Sunday afternoon, Police Chief John Ward told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Within moments, the garbagemen spotted him a short distance from the house.
The pair brought the boy back before his grandmother had even noticed he was gone — but not before taking his grandmother’s wallet from him, the chief said.
They returned later that day.
While his co-worker remained parked outside, 27-year-old Michael T. Jordan went to the door and produced the wallet, which he said the boy had been carrying. He told the woman that he’d forgotten to return it earlier, Ward said.
He then requested a reward, the chief said.
The woman asked him to come back later, when her husband would be home.
Police were waiting when he did.
They arrested Jordan on charges of receiving stolen property after finding money, a driver’s license and a house key missing from the wallet, Ward said.
The man waiting in the car for him, 32-year-old Matthew McKnight, was also arrested after Officer Christopher Mormino found him under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license, with an open alcohol container in the car.
Both were released pending Municipal Court dates and the vehicle was impounded.
An investigation was continuing.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT Correspondent Boyd A. Loving contributed to this story
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.