VIDEO: Mom directs son to take phone dropped by other family at New Jersey restaurant, police say

SADDLE BROOK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are looking for a family they said is behind a cell phone theft at a New Jersey restaurant that involved a young child.

The incident happened Sunday evening, while a family was waiting to be seated at the Hibachi Grill and Buffet in Saddle Brook. Authorities say the son accidentally dropped a Samsung Galaxy 4 Mini Smartphone belonging to his father, who didn't realize it had fallen and left it behind when the family went to their table.

Around the same time, police say a man, woman and a child who were leaving the restaurant were caught on surveillance camera noticing and stealing the phone. In the video, the woman is seen gesturing to the child to pick it up. The child then grabs the phone off the floor, and the family leaves the restaurant.

"This is definitely not an example of what that boy should have been instructed to do by his mother," Saddle Brook police Chief Robert Kugler said. "What should have happened is that she should have had him bring it to the counter and/or to the attention of the restaurant employees or to the family that the phone belonged to. Shame on her, and she needs to be held accountable."

The boy who picked up the cell phone is described as Hispanic, about 11 to 13 years old, wearing a yellow/blue jacket and blue jeans. The woman was Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, wearing a black coat and dark jeans, and about 5 feet 1 inch tall. The man was described as Hispanic, wearing a black coat and dark jeans, and between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 5 inches.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (201) 843-7000.
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.