ATLANTIC CITY — A store clerk on the boardwalk was charged Monday after falsely reporting a robbery, police said.
Malik Awais, 26, of Egg Harbor Township, has been charged with falsely reporting to law enforcement authorities after calling 911 to report that H&A Fashions had been robbed, Lt. Kevin Fair with the Atlantic City Police Department said in a news release.
Awais told police that several individuals entered the store, located in the 1400 block of the boardwalk, stole merchandise valued at $100, pushed him and caused $5,000 worth of damage to the property.
The charges come in the wake of a citywide discussion on boardwalk safety after a merchant, Mehmood Ansari, 65, died last Thursday following an incident with two juveniles.
The Merchants Association and several store owners along the boardwalk have said harassment and shoplifting has been a continuous problem.
Personnel from ACPD's surveillance center reviewed camera coverage from the area, with one camera having a view of the storefront.
Officials did not see anyone who matched the description of the perpetrators entering or exiting the store between the time the store opened to when police arrived.
Additionally, a person who was described as a witness was found not to be present during the alleged robbery.
"It was ultimately found that the alleged crime did not occur and the report was fabricated," Fair wrote in a prepared statement.
The investigation was led by Detective Ann McGlynn.
Awais was placed on a summons with a future court date.
City officials, members of law enforcement and the association will meet Thursday to address the issue.
Mayor Marty Small Sr. will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to address the incident.
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