"It was a staged robbery," said Caroline County Sheriff's Office Lt. Joe Crowder. "All the subjects involved, the clerks and the perpetrator, were actually involved in orchestrating this criminal activity."
Investigators arrested Corey Nolte and charged him with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and use of a fire arm in connection with the November 29, 2011 crime.
Nolte is the brother of a teenage employee seen held at gunpoint in security video, according to investigators.
Investigators charged a second man, Percey Craddock, with similar crimes. Craddock is accused of driving the getaway car.
The teenage employee and a second woman, Elizabeth Muessig, are charged with two counts of grand larceny and making a false police report.
Lt. Crowder said after viewing the security video, investigators suspected the man knew the restaurant workers. He said the man's movements and actions raised their suspicions.
"There were several key factors watching the video, but I don't want to go into detail because it's case related," Crowder said.
One day after the crime, and three days before her arrest, the 17-year-old employee appeared on TV to talk about the robbery.
"I became still," she said as she described the moment the man entered the restaurant through the backdoor. "The guy was kind of standing there. He pulled out a gun on us. It looked like a revolver."
People who shop at the Bowling Green Plaza were surprised to hear about the crime and pleased with the quick arrests.
"Don't people know that they're going to get caught," asked shopper Cindy Gorham. "That's just pure ignorance."