The July 30th theft at the Beachwood Quick Chek was reported as an armed robbery, but borough investigators uncovered a trail that led them right back to the gas pumps.

Manuel Surita (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)

Emmanuel Carromero, 19, of South Toms River, a gas attendant at the Route 9 convenience store, was arrested along with Manuel Surita, 36, of Beachwood, and a 17-year-old. They're charged with theft, conspiracy to commit theft, and filing a false police report.

According to police, Carromero initially reported the incident to authorities.

Detectives believe that Carromero and Surita hatched the plan to pocket gas money handed over by drivers filling up, and use the robbery story as cover. The teen, they said, was on site that night, and involved.

Carromero and Surita were placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, in default of bail, to await a court date. The teen was issued juvenile complaints and released.

Beachwood PD Sergeant Mussari, Patrolmen Apel and Officer Manganiello took lead roles in the probe. Ocean County Sheriff's officers and South Toms River police assisted in the initial phase.

Criminal charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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