“Based on our review of video footage that would have ostensibly captured these robbers, we have reason to believe that neither of these armed robberies actually happened,” West Orange Police Chief James P. Abbott said in a release.
In addition to the video evidence, the East Orange man was uncooperative with police and refused to be interviewed for a statement.
According to the alleged false report, the 15-year-old told police on Saturday, as he was walking up to the ATM, a gray SUV pulled through the driveway and two masked men got out with a gun demanding him to empty his pockets.
In the second falsely reported robbery, an East Orange man told police on Sunday, while walking on Waching Avenue, he heard the click of a gun as it was placed at the back of his head. The armed robber demanded him to "give up what he had," and he handed over his iPhone, valued at $600, a $1,000 gold ring, his wallet and $60 in cash.
“It’s a shame that someone would actually lie about something as serious as an armed robbery,” Mayor Parisi said. “Not only do these fabricated stories take up valuable police resources, they create unnecessary panic within our community. The eight surveillance cameras in town have helped aid police in their investigations, but full credit must go to our detectives for their diligence and efficiency in solving these cases.”