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Ex-Seton Hall coach Gonzalez charged with shoplifting

Former Seton Hall basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez is in trouble again. Fired in March for his antics on and off the court, Gonzalez has been arrested on charges of shoplifting from a New Jersey mall.

Gonzalez, 47, reported to Millburn police headquarters on Monday. He faces charges of criminal mischief, along with shoplifting. He is accused of taking a satchel worth roughly $1,400 from the Polo Ralph Lauren store in the Short Hills Mall on June 29.

He plans to plead not guilty, said defense attorney Gerald Krovatin, who also is representing Gonzalez in a lawsuit over his dismissal. He called the accusations a miscommunication and a series of misunderstandings.

"Bobby had no intention of stealing anything," Krovatin said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

A spokeswoman for the Essex County prosecutor's office says the shoplifting charge is a third-degree offense punishable by up to five years in jail.

According to the police report, the store manager reported that the manager of a restaurant in the mall returned a man's satchel. The restaurant manager said someone had come into the eatery, left the satchel with the hostess and never returned. The satchel was reportedly damaged near where a sensor tag had been attached.

An investigation by Millburn police resulted in an arrest warrant for Gonzalez, of Harrison, N.Y., for allegedly removing the sensor device from the satchel and not paying for it.

"He was not taken into custody," Krovatin said. "He was issued summonses and complaints and went home."

Gonzalez was fired the day after the Pirates lost to Texas Tech in the opening round of the NIT. - AP

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