Former Freehold Borough Patrolman Darnell Esdaile was sentenced Friday for attempting to steal approximately $500 of flooring from a Freehold-based Home Depot, Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced. The Honorable Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr., J.S.C. sentenced Esdaile to one year of probation and imposed a number of fines as part of the conviction.
Esdaile, 47, of Freehold, was convicted by a jury of fourth-degree shoplifting on Thursday, June 14. Upon the return of that verdict, Judge Mellaci, pursuant to State law, ordered that Esdaile immediately forfeit his position as an police officer with the Freehold Borough Police Department.
Esdaile was arrested in Freehold on Nov.11, 2010 after being detained by Home Depot Loss Prevention Officers, who observed him exiting the store with laminate flooring materials without paying for them.
According to documents in this case and statements made in court:
Approximately an hour before his arrest, Esdaile visited the Home Depot and loaded eight boxes of laminate flooring and a steam mop on a flatbed cart. Esdaile approached the cashier, advised her that he had already paid for the flooring and indicated that he needed to be charged for the mop. When Esdaile failed to produce a receipt for his alleged purchase, the cashier alerted store security. Thereafter, Esdaile set the steam mop aside and proceeded to another register where he paid for the eight boxes of laminate flooring with a personal credit card. He then left the store and loaded the purchased merchandise into his vehicle.
After leading the purchased flooring into his car, Esdaile proceeded back into the store with the same flatbed cart and re-selected the same type and quantity of flooring. Esdaile also placed six pieces of quarter-round molding on the flatbed cart.
Esdaile came to a register staffed by a third cashier, presented the receipt for the earlier purchase of flooring, and falsely stated that he had already purchased the flooring on the cart. Esdaile paid only for the quarter round molding after presenting his receipt for the first batch of laminate flooring. Esdaile then attempted to leave the store with the unpaid flooring before being detained by store security.
Esdaile was sworn in as a Freehold Borough police officer on March 4, 1996. At the time of his arrest, his salary was $99,402.
Acting Prosecutor Gramiccioni thanked the Freehold Township Police Department and the Freehold Township Home Depot for their assistance in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Gregory J. Schweers, Director of the Offìce’s Professional Responsibility Unit, and Andrew S. Fried of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.