Two Newark officers charged with theft while on duty

NEWARK, NJ — Newark Police Officers Tiasha Wright and Bianca White have been charged with burglary, theft and conspiracy to commit both offenses stemming from an incident that occurred on Aug. 31, according to a Sept. 4 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The incident occurred in the area of Sunset Avenue in Newark while the officers were on duty. White and Wright, along with other Newark police officers, entered a residence based on Wright’s report of suspicious activity. While on the first floor to investigate the scene, White reportedly removed a charger and a large package of Poland Spring water bottles from the first-floor apartment and placed them in her marked Newark Police Department patrol vehicle. 

After the scene was cleared and while sitting in Wright’s marked patrol car, the officers allegedly decided to return to the residence in order to steal a large Bluetooth speaker. According to the ECPO, Wright pried open the door, removed the speaker and placed it in her police vehicle. 

“We will continue to hold police officers accountable for their unlawful actions. The officers in this case violated their oath and the public trust that comes with it,” acting Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II said. 

The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Professional Standards Bureau of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Newark Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards. Both officers have been suspended without pay. 

“I commend the Newark Police Division’s Office of Professional Standards for uncovering the egregious acts of these officers. They are an embarrassment to the police division and there is no room for them in police work. Any violation of the law or policy of the Newark Police Division will not be tolerated,” Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. 

The investigation is active and ongoing. These are accusations; all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.