An informant not enticed by the offer of a reward came forward and helped North Franklin Township police identify at least one suspect in the weekend burglary of Angelo’s restaurant.
Joseph David Boone, 20, of 1160 Fayette St., Washington, was arrested on three counts each of burglary, criminal trespass and theft.
Township police Sgt. Dean Urbanic, who filed the charges against Boone, said the informant came to the police station with information that he overheard the defendant and another person talking about how they “robbed” Angelo’s. The informant first went to the Washington police station Monday and was referred to North Franklin, where he went Tuesday.
The second person, described as a “person of interest,” reportedly confided in the informant and provided details of the burglary. The informant later noticed a safe, poker machine and numerous Angelo’s gift cards in Boone’s room.
Urbanic said the informant was able to give police details about the burglary that had not been made public. Boone reportedly approached the informant and demanded that he help “getting rid of some stuff.”
The two loaded a safe, poker machine and computer into Boone’s vehicle and took it to a storage barn in the 300 block of Beacon Avenue in the Town and Country Trailer Park, Canton Township. The two left the computer and poker machine in the storage barn.
Boone and the informant then went to a dead end area of North Sunset Beach Road, Buffalo Township, and dumped the safe and three fire extinguishers.
Urbanic went with the informant to the North Sunset Beach location, where a bridge is out. Two safes from Angelo’s were found along with two extinguishers and personal papers of Michael Passalacqua, owner of the restaurant, as well as numerous gift cards.
On Wednesday, Urbanic assisted by state police served a search warrant for the barn on Beacon. The owner of the property, who faces charges of receiving stolen property, said Boone told him that he was storing the property for a friend who was moving. Recovered from the storage barn were a laptop computer and eight zip drives that had been stolen from the restaurant.
Urbanic said surveillance shows the restaurant was entered three times, starting just before midnight Saturday.
“During the first two, it was just one person,” Urbanic said. “The first time, the big safe was put in a big garbage can.”
The burglar parked his vehicle behind a back entrance to Consol Energy Field. He can be seen wheeling the can through the parking lot of an adjacent office building, down the road to where the vehicle was parked.
Urbanic said the burglar entered the restaurant a second time and then left with unknown items. The burglar returned about 5 a.m., this time with an accomplice. They loaded another safe and other items in a laundry cart. They took the same path to where the getaway vehicle had been parked.
Urbanic said the informant was unaware of the reward before coming forward with information.
“He just wanted to the right thing,” Urbanic said.
Passalacqua, along with the owners of two other restaurants burglarized early Sunday, combined to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits. It is not known if Boone is a suspect in the burglaries of the New Tower restaurant on West Chestnut Street in Washington or Shorty’s Lunch, Canton.
Urbanic took Boone into custody Wednesday afternoon with assistance of city police Sgt. Carl Martin.
Boone was arraigned before District Judge David Mark and placed in Washington County Jail on $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for June 26 before District Judge Robert Redlinger.