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October 15, 2021

Police spot 'Stranger Things' star Gaten Matarazzo at Wawa in New Jersey

The countdown continues for the return of the hit Netflix series

More than two years have passed since "Stranger Things" fans have gotten their fix of the blockbuster Netflix franchise, whose production schedule for the fourth season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

With the series set to return early next year, answers to the some of the show's burning questions are within sight. How is Jim Hopper handling prison life in Russia? Will Eleven regain her unusual powers? Has Dustin moved on from Suzie, his ham radio girlfriend?

On Thursday, police in Manchester, New Jersey had their chance to interrogate "Stranger Things" star Gaten Matarazzo, who was spotted at a Wawa and posed for a photo with two officers who recognized him.

“Things” got a little “Strange” last night for our midnight shift!(pun super intended) While stopping for a quick cup...

Posted by Manchester Police on Thursday, October 14, 2021

Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, was born in Connecticut but raised in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. He graduated from Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton and has remained a visible part of the community over the past several years, including performances with his band Work In Progress.

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While "Stranger Things" was on hold during the pandemic, Matarazzo took a summer job as a food runner at Bird & Betty's in Beach Haven, where he worked alongside family members at the popular Long Beach Island restaurant. The 19-year-old told Jimmy Fallon he took the job because he had gotten disturbingly good at "Mario Kart" and needed to do something different. Despite wearing a face mask, most fans who ate at the restaurant recognized him, anyway. 

In addition to "Stranger Things," Matarazzo has starred in his own Netflix series, "Prank Encounters," and has appeared in a number of Verizon commercials and a Green Day music video.

Given Matarazzo's upbringing, it's not a surprise that he'd be a Wawa customer. But it's a nice reminder that nine new episodes of "Stranger Things" are fast approaching as we near the new year, and Matarazzo's cast mate, Finn Wolfhard, recently said the upcoming season will be "really messed up." 

We don't have an exact date yet, but you can get a taste of what's to come in the trailers below.