A Hoboken man was charged with falsely telling police that he was assaulted and had his employer’s bicycle, valued between $1,000 to $1,500, stolen, authorities said.
Angel Mendoza, 47, of Hoboken, was charged with making false reports to law enforcement and theft, according to Police Det. Sgt. Joseph Leonard.
On September 26, Mendoza filed a robbery report of with Police Officer’s William Bullock and David DiMartino. He alleged that, while in the area of the 9th Street Light Rail station, two men grabbed him by the neck, threw him from his work bicycle, and then took the bike.
The bicycle, which belonged to his employer, was valued between $1,000 to $1,500. Mendoza was inconsistent in reporting the facts as he knew in regards to the incident, which raised the suspicions of the officers who were tasked with taking the initial report, police said.
The officers documented this on an investigation report with the information of an anonymous witness having observed someone take the bike into a building on Fifth Street.
From there, Det. Paul Quinn was then assigned to investigate the robbery. Using the information in regards this incident he began reviewing video footage backtracking the information provided by Mendoza and cross referencing with other sources, officials said.
It was then learned that Mendoza was observed in possession of the bike prior to the alleged robbery.
Ultimately, it was determined that at no time was there any evidence of the robbery that was reported or any other person in possession of the bike other than Mendoza, before he reported being a victim to police, authorities said.
On October 4th, a complaint was drawn up by Quinn for the false report and theft of his employer’s bicycle and the case is currently awaiting court proceedings, police said.
The possible penalty, if found guilty of these two crimes, is up to 6-and-a-half years imprisonment and up to $25,000.00 in fines and/or restitution.
“When individuals make false reports of violent crimes, like robbery, that did not occur and it is done purposely to mask their own illegal or inappropriate conduct, they need to be charged,” Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said in a statement.
“False reports of violent crimes create public panic, social media reactions that could be damaging to the city, and waste hours of law enforcement investigative resources trying to track incidents that never occurred.”