Police: Bank robber calls in decoy emergency to keep officers busy

Posted: Updated:
PARK RIDGE -

Authorities say that a thief pulled off a midday bank heist in Bergen County by calling in a fake emergency.

Park Ridge police say the bank robber made a bogus call about a shooting on Fifth Street. But when officers arrived, they did not find any crime. Police say that this call was meant as a distraction.

Paul Wharton lives on Fifth Street where the fake shooting occurred. He says police locked down the whole area while they investigated.

Wharton says six officers surrounded a house where the shooting was thought to have occurred. Neighbors say the bank robber used the homeowner's name when calling the police.

“The person making that phone call knew what they were doing. To actually investigate…the name of the people that lived there and to use their name to add credibility to the story,” says Wharton.

But while police were occupied with the fake shooting, the thief was robbing the Oritani Bank on Kinderkamack Road. The thief was able to get away with an unknown amount of money.

The thief remains at large. Police have not released a description of the robber.

Anyone who may have any information about the robbery should call Park Ridge police at 201-391-5400.

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