Police: Prom Dress Store Owner Faked Theft
Patricia Dowling initially said 40 dresses valued at $20,000 were missing. But after viewing video from the store, officers accused the owner of taking the dresses herself.
The owner of the Red Carpet Pageant and Prom store, who had claimed 40 dresses valued at $20,000 had been stolen from her store, was issued a summons Tuesday for filing a false police report, Wayne police said.
Patricia Dowling is scheduled to appear in Wayne Municipal Court on June 7, said Detective Capt. James Clarke.
Dowling faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine if found guilty, Clarke said.
Dowling could not be reached for comment at the store.
Wayne police issued the summons after they watched video they said showed Dowling removing 40 dresses off a rack herself. The video shows Dowling placing the dresses in a storage room, police said. Dowling originally reported that the dresses, valued at $20,000, were stolen sometime between 9 p.m. on May 15 and 2:20 p.m. on May 16.
Dowling told police that the rear door of the facility was not secured and that the cameras at the business do not record anything.
NorthJersey.com reported Tuesday that a number of customers contacted police in recent weeks to complain that the store did not send them their dresses despite being paid for them.
Police said that a number of people have received the dresses they purchased from the store this week.
The store received an “F” grade with the Better Business Bureau due to “problems with product/service.”
The store bills itself as carrying several high-end, name-brand prom dresses, including Jovani, Tiffany and WOW Prom.