Police: Employee, accomplice staged robbery at Newark business
An employee who claimed to be the victim of a robbery has been charged with helping orchestrate the heist, police said.
The supposed robbery happened at 9 a.m. Nov. 14 at Delaware Distribution, located in the Sandy Brae Industrial Park off Otts Chapel Road, according to Sgt. Gerald Bryda, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department.
An employee of the business, 22-yearold Vibhav Kumar of Bear, told police that a tall, masked man entered the business, pointed a gun at him and stole money before fleeing on foot.
Responding officers saw a man fitting the description a short distance away at the intersection of Otts Chapel Road and West Chestnut Hill Road, Bryda said, noting the man had a mask pulled up and resting atop his head.
Officers searched the man, identified as Malik Harper, 23, of Wilmington, and found a large amount of cash in his possession. Surveillance footage confirmed he was the alleged robber, Bryda said.
However, a detective soon determined the robbery was staged, Bryda said.
“He started interviewing the alleged victim and he immediately noticed things weren’t adding up,” Bryda said.
The weapon used turned out to be a pellet gun, he added.
Kumar was charged with two counts of theft over $1,500, filing a false report, hindering an investigation and second-degree conspiracy. He was released on $6,500 unsecured bond.
Harper was charged with theft over $1,500, second-degree conspiracy and wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony. He was jailed in lieu of $10,000 secured bond.