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New Brunswick Man Charged With Robbing Four Township Residents In Fake PlayStation Exchange

What was supposed to be a routine in-person culmination of an online PlayStation game console exchange for four township residents turned into robberies of all of them by a 22-year-old New Brunswick man, police said on June 24.

The man was arrested on June 19 near Hempstead Plaza on Route 27 and charged with two counts of 1st Degree Robbery and two counts of 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in connection with the alleged robberies, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

At about 4:35 p.m. on June 16, police received a call that a man and a minor had been robbed at gunpoint near Mindy Drive. Responding officers were told that the two victims thought they were meeting the man they say robbed them to exchange a PlayStation 4 gaming console.

Instead, they told police, the man pointed a yellowish-colored gun at them and stole their console.

On June 18, police received a similar call at about 9:08 p.m., according to the release.

Responding officers were told by two men that they were supposed to meet a man near Ellen Street to exchange a PlayStation 4 gaming console.

The victims told police that the man pointed a gun with an extended magazine at them, stole $300 in cash from them and ripped a gold chain off one of the victim’s necks.

All of the victims said they used the same online service to make the arrangements for the supposed pickup. The service was not named in the prosecutor’s press release.

A joint investigation by Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Franklin Township Police Department resulted in identifying the New Brunswick man as the person who committed the robberies, the release said.

The man was arrested on June 19, after which police found a tan colored handgun with an extended magazine and a PlayStation 4 game console in his car, according to the release.

The man was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, Somerville, pending a bail detention hearing, according to the release.

Police ask anyone with information relating to the robberies to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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