Authorities say a video game store manager conspired with two others to fake a robbery at the business last week.
Somerset County prosecutors say 22-year-old Ethan Hendrix reported the robbery Thursday night. He said a black male had entered the store in Watchung and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at him, then ordered him to lock the store's front door.
Hendrix told police the man then took an undisclosed amount of cash and electronics from the store and hit him in the head with the handgun as he left.
But when police reviewed the store security video footage, they noticed inconsistencies between Hendrix' statement and the surveillance footage. The video showed 20-year-old William Curry of Plainfield and a 17-year-old male interacting with Hendrix "in an apparently familiar manner inside the store."
Authorities say a search of Hendrix' Plainfield residence uncovered evidence related to the robbery. They say the three suspects met Hendrix there and divided the proceeds from the robbery.
All three were charged with theft, conspiracy and possession of an imitation firearm, while Hendrix and Curry were also charged with using a minor to commit a criminal offense.
Hendrix and Curry were both being held on $15,000 bail, while the juvenile was released to his mother.
It wasn't known Monday if any of the suspects have retained a lawyer.