Sting operation proves successful in Irvington

IRVINGTON, NJ — The Irvington Police Department Detective Bureau set up a successful sting operation to combat several reported armed robberies that were committed utilizing Facebook to Marketplace to lure victims to a specific area for an in-person meeting on Thursday, Oct. 10. According to reports, the victims were violently robbed and pistol-whipped during the meeting.

Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss said he takes pride in the recent efforts of the Irvington Police Department’s diligence for their continued endeavors in halting crime within the township.

“These arrests are another example of the great work of the men and women of the Irvington Police Department,” said Vauss in a statement sent to the Irvington Herald on Tuesday, Oct. 15. “Their diligent work continues to prove that Irvington is not the place for people to come and commit crimes. It simply will not be tolerated.”

The suspect, an 18-year-old male, contacted a prior victim utilizing Facebook Marketplace to establish a sale of high-priced clothing items. The victim notified Detective Sgt. Maurice Taylor from the Irvington Police Department, of the suspect’s second contact, to meet with the victim and to purchase items.

Detective Andreas Lebron acted as the victim and began contacting the suspect via telephone. Once the suspects waved him into the dead-end driveway, officers engaged the suspect talking to Lebron on the telephone. The additional two suspects, males ages 21 and 22, fled and were apprehended. During their attempted escape, two vehicle key fobs were recovered. Both vehicles were towed and held for processing.

This operation resulted in the arrest of the three suspect and resulted in the recovery of a fully loaded extended magazine Glock Model 22 .40 caliber pistol with hollow rounds and a 9 mm fully loaded handgun with hollow rounds.

Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers said he is satisfied with the success of the sting operation.

“Another successful operation conducted by the police department allows us to get bad guys off of the streets,” Bowers said to the Irvington Herald in a phone interview on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

“It was a success,” agreed Lebron in an interview with the Irvington Herald on Tuesday, Oct. 15. “We definitely knew that we had the right suspects that were involved in at least three robberies. Suspects utilized the same Facebook username to attempt to buy or sell products on Facebook market. Based off of the information we’ve received from the victims, we were able to set up a sting operation where as I pretended to be a seller on Facebook. After recognizing that the suspects set up a deliberate ambush-style attack, I radioed units to respond in. It was great teamwork to be able to realize that a deliberate style ambush was trying to be utilized by the suspects.”