A reported Thursday night theft at the Greencastle Subway was actually an inside job, Greencastle City Police said Sunday.
"We had our thoughts about that from the beginning," GPD Assistant Chief Brian Hopkins told the Banner Graphic Sunday evening. "You see now why I said 'alleged robbery' (in his initial press release)?"
At a result of the investigation, three Greencastle young people are being charged in the case, including the alleged victim who reported the now-bogus robbery, Subway employee Haley Ellis, 21.
After conducting interviews Friday, Saturday and Sunday, GPD Det. Randy Seipel arrested former Subway employee Matt Davidson and his alleged accomplice, Josh Lizotte, both 19.
Davidson and Lizotte were incarcerated at the Putnam County Jail Sunday on preliminary charges of theft.
All pending charges are under review by the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office.
Det. Seipel was able to get confessions from all three suspects, Assistant Chief Hopkins reported.
The two young men were described as "remorseful and upset," also admitting they had been smoking the banned synthetic marijuana substance K-2 (aka "Spice") before the incident that unfolded shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday.
The trio decided to make it look like a robbery had occurred at the restaurant in the Shoppes of Greencastle center at 1360 E. Indianapolis Rd. on the city's East Side.
The suspects reportedly decided that Davidson and Lizotte would enter the restaurant while Haley was closing and make it look like a robbery. Then, after they left, Haley would inform police and Subway management that she had been robbed.
The undisclosed amount of cash was then split up between the three suspects, police said.
The idea of the robbery being an inside job came up almost immediately after it was reported since the faux intruders seemed to exhibit inside knowledge of Subway's nightly closing procedures. The restaurant's front door is locked at 10 p.m. nightly, meaning there would be no one in the dining room while employees cleaned up and operated the drive-through window.
The contrived incident occurred about 10:10 after Ellis said she opened the back door and went outside to put trash in the dumpster.
That is when she told police she was overpowered by one intruder while two others ran inside and took cash from the registers.
All of that inside activity was caught on videotape, which Assistant Chief Hopkins said proved useful to investigators.
"That did help quite a bit but we also received other information from management and other people. Word of mouth kind of gets out, and you look at the video and start putting bits and pieces together," Hopkins added.
In other words, the videotape might help show whether or not activity appeared staged or at least less frantic than under normal robbery conditions. Authorities also were able to see who had been coming and going at the restaurant that night, Hopkins said.
The initial investigation began when Officer Eric Vaughan was called to the restaurant at 10:11 p.m. Thursday. Ellis initially reported that the robbers were three white males who ran south toward Walmart after taking the money and exiting the building as they entered, via the rear door.