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Freehold Borough Police Officer Found Guilty of Shoplifting

Darnell Esdaile, 46, must immediately forfeit his position as a police officer with the Freehold Borough Police Department.

A Monmouth County jury found a officer guilty of shoplifting from the in Freehold Township on Thursday, according to a press release issued by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

The Honorable Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr. presided over the trial. Upon the jury’s verdict, he ruled that Darnell Esdaile, 46, must immediately forfeit his position as a police officer with the .

Esdaile was arrested at the Home Depot on November 11. He was off duty at the time of the incident. He was stopped by Home Depot Loss Prevention officers when he tried to leave the store with just under $500 worth of laminate flooring materials without paying.

According to the press release, testimony from the trial revealed that approximately an hour before his arrest, Esdaile had been in the Freehold Township Home Depot and loaded eight boxes of laminate flooring on a flatbed cart, as well as a steam mop. Esdaile approached the cashier, advised her that he had already paid for the flooring and simply wanted to be charged for the mop. When Esdaile failed to produce a receipt for his alleged purchase, the cashier alerted store security.

Esdaile ultimately set the steam mop aside and proceeded to another register where he paid for the eight boxes of laminate flooring with a credit card. He then left the store and loaded the purchased merchandise into his vehicle.

After loading the flooring into his car, Esdaile proceeded back into the store, with the same flatbed cart and reselected the same type of flooring in the same exact quantity. Additionally, he placed six pieces of quarter-round molding on the flatbed cart, along with the flooring. Esdaile then made his way to a register, where he dealt with another cashier, and showed her a receipt for the earlier purchased flooring. At that time, Esdaile indicated to the cashier that he had already purchased the flooring, but had forgotten to purchase the quarter-round molding. He showed the cashier his receipt for the first batch of laminate flooring, purchased just minutes before, and requested to be rung up only for the molding.

Esdaile then attempted to leave the store with the unpaid flooring when he was stopped by Home Depot security. 

In addition to giving up his job, Esdaile could be sentenced up to 18 months in State prison, along with various fines. Esdaile remains free on bail pending his September sentencing.

Esdaile was sworn in as a Freehold Borough Police Officer on March 4, 1996. As a result of his arrest for the theft of the materials, he was suspended from his job, without pay, on November 17, 2010. At that time his salary was $99,402.

Esdaile will be sentenced by Judge Mellaci on September 28, 2012.

The case was investigated by the Freehold Township Police Department and the Professional Responsibility Unit of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. The case was tried by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Gregory J. Schweers, Director of the Professional Responsibility Unit, and Andrew Fried. Esdaile was represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq., of Ocean, New Jersey.

Mr. A June 15, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Throws away a $100k job, 14yrs of highly held professional responsibility, and his good name for under $500 of shoplifted material? What was he thinking!!!
jerseyswamps June 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM
You don't do something like this unless you got away with it countless times before. Probably 10's of thousands of dollars.
rain June 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Oh please.. I know him personally .. smh.. I expected this lol..
Buddy June 15, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Lock his ass up with all of the criminals he's been preaching to for the past 14 years!
Fred Reiss June 15, 2012 at 02:46 PM
My guess is this: it wasn't the first time he stole something. And getting paid 100K to be a cop is too much. Proving money can't buy integrity.
BoroPride June 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I was thinking the same thing...he got away with this before, but on this day he got caught. He deserves every thing he gets. A true criminal behind the uniform.
peabody June 16, 2012 at 01:12 AM
he did an unbelievably stupid thing, and being a cop makes it worse! however, fred, i do know many cops, in my family and those that are friends- you couldn't pay me enough to do their job! people always say that until they are needed.
Douglas Dickson June 16, 2012 at 05:02 PM
What a shame. He will most likely lose his pension benefits too. This case reminds me of the Brick Town Police dofficers stealing fron Two Guys years ago. I feel sorry for his family and fellow police officers. I hope he really is guilty because he is lost so much for such a small amount.
Team Sheen June 16, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Unfortunately @ his age he just didn't wake up one day w/this idea. I feel bad for his family.
mike jones June 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM
oh please there is barely crime in freehold im sure they harrass more people than crime that they really have
mike jones June 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM
stupid stupid stupid greed make 100k and counldnt pay for floor tiles that were probably 30 bucks a box
mike jones June 17, 2012 at 12:29 AM
and believe me there are more guess he was part of the click because this would have been swept under the rug what an abuse of power and the badge

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