Gonzalez is accused of taking a satchel worth about $1,400 from the Polo Ralph Lauren store in The Mall at Short Hills on June 29. Police said he removed the sensor device from the satchel and walked out of the store without paying for it.
According to a police report, the Polo store manager reported that the manager of a restaurant in the mall returned the satchel. The restaurant manager said someone had come into the eatery, left the satchel with the hostess and never returned.
Gonzalez faces criminal mischief and shoplifting charges; the shoplifting charge is punishable by up to five years in jail, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. Gonzalez surrendered to police in Millburn on July 5 and has not had to post bail.