Po­lice: Em­ployee, ac­com­plice staged rob­bery at Newark busi­ness

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­[email protected]­pub.com

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.

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