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Norwalk police determine man's robbery claim was bogus

Cary Ashby • Updated May 11, 2018 at 8:59 AM

Police have determined a man who reported being threatened while walking home on Whittlesey Avenue lied about the robbery incident.

As a result, the complainant, John L. McBride, 35, most recently of 20 Ward Ave., was charged with making false alarms and falsification, both first-degree misdemeanors. He was arrested Tuesday and transported to the Huron County Jail after an interview.

“It was suspicious from the beginning because it’s very unusual,” said interim Norwalk Police Chief Mike Conney, referring to the allegation of someone threatening residents with a knife.

Officer Justin Majoy investigated the initial complaint while Officer Tim Skinner handled the follow-up investigation.

“Both of them went to the original call,” Conney said.

McBride reportedly was near the intersection of Bouscay and Whittlesey avenues just before 6 p.m. Saturday. He had told police he cut through the Bouscay Avenue apartment complex so he could stop at a soda machine outside the apartments.

“He was approached by a male who requested his money and threatened to cut him if he didn’t give him the money,” Capt. Eric Hipp told the Reflector earlier. “The victim did not see a weapon but the male did indicate he had a knife.”

McBride alleged the fictitious assailant took $35.

“He claimed he was down there to buy marijuana from somebody,” Conney said.

The interim chief was asked if there had been a drug transaction.

“No, there wasn’t,” he said.

During the investigation, Conney said police learned McBride gave someone he didn’t know the money for marijuana “and the person never came back.”

Officers retrieved and studied surveillance footage of the area where McBride was. 

“We contacted him (and) brought him to the station,” Conney said.

When confronted with the information that police had, McBride “admitted he hadn’t been robbed,” he added.

“Our concern with the whole case is we don’t want someone to make a false report,” Conney said, and Norwalk residents need to know there isn’t someone on the loose wielding a knife.

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