Neveah Monroe told Boston police two armed robbers burst into the 4 Corners Cannabiz store on Monday, Aug. 8, demanded cash and then bolted. But investigators later learned Neveah Monroe wasn’t the victim of any crime because she didn’t exist.
Jessica Lugo, 27, of Roxbury was arrested on Wednesday after police said she took part in an elaborate plot to rob the Dorchester store, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said.
Lugo lied and used the fake name Neveah Monroe to get a job at the store on Washington Street, authorities said. It’s unclear when she started working there. On Monday, she reported that someone robbed 4 Corners Cannabiz, but her story didn’t match the security camera videos.
The CCTV cameras showed two armed robbers entering the store, but they left after Lugo shooed them away because there were customers in the building, authorities said. She didn’t call the police to report this.
About 30 minutes later, the robbers returned. Investigators said they moved through the store as if they had inside information about its operations. They made off with $27,000 in money and merchandise, police said.
The following day, Neveah Monroe didn’t show up for her shift. When managers called her, Monroe said she didn’t want the job anymore. They told her to come in the following day to pick up her final check, but Boston police were there to arrest her instead, the DA’s office said.
Authorities charged Lugo with armed robbery, prosecutors said. A judge ordered her held on a $5,000 bail, officials added.
Investigators are still searching for the two people involved in the robbery.
“This scheme unraveled pretty quickly amid solid investigative work and cooperation from store management,” Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement. “This was not a mere crime of opportunity. This armed robbery was planned and executed in a manner that had the potential to place other employees, customers, and community members at risk.”
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