HOWELL — A Pizza Hut manager made up a story about an armed robbery on Friday morning in a half-baked effort to get a raise, police said.

Instead, Joseph Baude, 30, of Ocean Township in Monmouth County, was charged with creating a false alarm and false report to police.

His arrest came hours after police responded about 11 a.m. to a report of a hold up by a man armed with a handgun at the restaurant at the Village Square strip mall on Route 9 South. Baude told police that he confronted the robber, who left without any cash.

The manhunt involved a drone, police dogs and a response of 26 officers — from detectives to school and traffic cops. The hunt also resulted in a shelter-in-place at the nearby Goddard School and the Southard School.

Howell police at a Pizza Hut that was robbed on March 6, 2020. (Howell Police Dept.)

Police at first suspected that the robber had used a toy handgun. But the story began to unravel when police reviewed security video and could not see anyone leaving the restaurant.

Chief Andrew Kudrick said that Baude admitted making up the robbery because "he wanted to look favorable with corporate so he could get a raise. He was remorseful and realized the extent of his actions."

Baude was released Friday before a court appearance. Townsquare Media could not reach Baude for comment.

 

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