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 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, 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 removing 40 dresses off a rack herself. The video shows Dowling placing the dresses in a storage room, police said. Dowling originally 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.

eyes wide shut May 22, 2012 at 02:49 PM
hmmmm sounds as if the owner of the store got some splaininn to do
Nose Wayne May 22, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Eyes guess that video recorder that she said did not work started to magically work during the time the dresses were stolen from the store. More splaininn to do!!
Nose Wayne May 22, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Pad May 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
How about a Lie Detector Test on this one.
Nose Wayne May 23, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Pad,I would love to be a fly on the wall at that one!! I think they got a call to be on the TV show WORLDS DUMBEST-Criminals
Scondo May 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Did she slip up when she started hemming and hawing .
Nose Wayne May 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Scondo, I think it was more like homity,homity homity,homity!!
Daniel Hubbard (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Let's keep the name-calling out of this please. Thanks.
Dory Degen May 24, 2012 at 02:29 AM
seriously! she actually left the cameras running? and then didn't erase it? dumb!
Rich May 24, 2012 at 03:43 PM
How is this business still open, didn't they do this in the past. How about some nice jail time???
Nose Wayne May 24, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Rich,hopefully for a long time.She screwed alot of people out of alot of money!!
Bob May 31, 2012 at 06:55 PM
With integrity like that, I wouldn't be too surprised if the dresses were knock offs as well.


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