LINDEN – Police arrested two suspects in an armed robbery of the AT&T Store in Aviation Shopping Plaza on Wednesday afternoon, authorities announced.
Christopher J. Rivera, 20, and Jaquan M. Hodge-Peay, 24, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were charged with robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a handgun, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Both are being held in the Linden municipal jail pending the setting of bail.
Police responded to a holdup alarm at the wireless retailer on the 600 block of West Edgar Road at 12:25 p.m. on Oct. 17. An employee told the officers that a man had entered the store and inquired if they had any Apple iPad tablet computers in stock. When a second employee brought three of the devices from a storage room, the suspect demanded that the employee put them in a bag.
When the employee hesitated, the suspect pulled out a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the employee, telling him, “Don’t make me use this,” according to authorities. The employee surrendered the iPads, valued at $829 each, and the suspect fled out the door to the parking lot.
The suspect was observed entering the passenger side of a late 90s Ford Explorer and headed out to Routes 1&9. A description of the getaway vehicle was broadcast and the vehicle was stopped at Routes 1&9 and South Park Avenue by traffic investigators Michael Richmond and Peter Hammer.
The suspects were identified by the store employee and placed under arrest. The three iPads and a .22 caliber F.I.E. revolver handgun loaded with six rounds of ammunition were recovered from the vehicle.
The charges are merely accusations; Rivera and Hodge-Peay are both presumed innocent until proven guilty.