U. SAUCON TWP., Pa. | Upper Saucon Township police allege a Bucks County man broke into the restaurant near the hotel where he was staying, stashing the safe from the heist in a maintenance closet.
Authorities charged Casey G. Rowedder, of Cherry Street in Richlandtown, with burglary and theft in connection with the Oct. 4 break-in at Diana’s Café off Route 309. District Judge Michael Pochron arraigned the 23-year-old, setting bail at $50,000.
Police were dispatched to the restaurant at 4907 Route 309 about 3:45 a.m. for a burglar alarm. Officers said they found a rear window pried open and a safe containing about $675 in cash missing. The cash drawer and employee paychecks were also missing.
Investigators reviewed video footage from the Knights Inn across the highway and reportedly spotted two men running across the parking lot from the direction of Diana’s Café minutes before police were dispatched, according to court records. Police said one man was wearing a backpack and carrying something heavy.
The two men and two women are seen entering and leaving room 203, and police said a search of a second-floor maintenance closet turned up a small safe and cash drawer.
Police said Rowedder was seen carrying a backpack and walking to the back of the Knights Inn about two hours after the burglary. He ran but was caught a short time later. Rowedder told police that he was just out for a walk. A search of his backpack allegedly turned up a prying tool with a flat blade and several Orion flares, according to records.
As police secured the motel room, two women approached and said they wanted to gather their belongings. Officers said one of the women had in her bag a grinder commonly used to open things like small safes.
Both women are named in the criminal complaint but it does not appear they are facing criminal charges.
The other woman said she was staying in the room with her brother and Rowedder. She reported leaving the room about 2:45 a.m. to go for a walk, when she heard an alarm. The two men returned and were “frantic,” and one of the men was carrying something wrapped in a blanket, she told police.
Inside the room, police said they found a tool bag with “Rowedder” written on it and several empty Orion flares like the one Rowedder was carrying, when he was stopped by police.
Police charged Rowedder with felony counts of burglary, conspiracy and criminal trespass along with misdemeanor counts of theft, receiving stolen property and loitering and prowling. The second man is not named in court papers, and it’s unclear if he faces charges.
Rowedder failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday.