Alleged thief stealing airsoft gun sparks 'armed masked man' scare at Walmart in Union, New Jersey

UNION, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man who allegedly shoplifted an airsoft gun at a New Jersey Walmart created quite the scare -- and someone called police to report an "armed masked man."

Police were called to the Walmart on Route 22 in Union before 11:00 a.m. Thursday.

The caller told police that a man wearing a black mask and holding a black gun was in the toy department.

The building was evacuated and police say they found a package that normally contains a large black airsoft gun but was missing.

The toy was located, and police said they believe the caller saw the shoplifting in process.

The man was taken into custody later Thursday evening.

He was identified as 20-year-old Joshua Phillips, of Newark, and is charged with creating a false public alarm, possession of weapon and shoplifting.

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