By TALIA WIENER
A report of a possible armed robbery Tuesday turned out to be four juveniles making a short film, police said.
On Tuesday night, Oct. 5, a man observed what he believed to be an armed robbery in progress inside of Empire Nutrition on Valley Road, Sgt. Terence Turner said. The man called the police.
Officers responded and located four juveniles inside of the business with masks and imitation firearms, Turner said. The officers determined that they were filming a short film inside of the business and had permission to be there from the business owner.
Signs had been placed outside of the business advising people that a movie shoot was taking place, however the man who called said he did not see those signs, Turner said.
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The teens remained in temporary police custody at the scene, while officers assessed the situation and eventually determined there was no armed robbery or threat to the public, Turner said. They were then released to their parents or guardians, he said.
“It is standard practice that whenever a juvenile is in the custody of the police, whether for a criminal offense or not, that they be released to a parent, guardian, or other responsible party,” he said in an email to Montclair Local.
He said given the late hour, “I’m sure all parties involved thought it was best to wrap things up for the night” but police would have had no objection to letting the teens continue filming, so long as the property owner and their parents allowed it.
This story has been updated to reflect further replies from Sgt. Terence Turner regarding officers’ decision to release the teens to their parents.