Police: Man Hid In, Stole From, Magic Wok
Easton resident accused of waiting inside Chinese restaurant, then stealing money when it closed.
An Easton man is accused of stealing about $350 from a Chinese restaurant earlier this month after hiding in the bathroom.
The suspect, Miguel Angel Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 38, also is facing drug paraphernalia charges in a separate case connected to an October raid on Ferry Street that yielded multiple arrests.
A criminal complaint lists the suspect’s address as 502 Northampton St., Apt. 5 – about a block from the Magic Wok restaurant. But a cover sheet attached to the complaint says he’s homeless.
The complaint, filed by city Patrolman Benjamin Mastrofilippo, says the suspect hid in the Magic Wok bathroom on the night of Jan. 8, a Tuesday, until the owner closed the restaurant and left, then stole the money.
According to the complaint:
--A “pedestrian in the area” called the 911 center around 10:30pm about a man inside the 601 Northampton St. restaurant. The caller said the suspect was in the bathroom and did not want her to call because he was facing an arrest warrant in another case.
--Police arrived and found the front door “closed and secure.” The restaurant owner arrived, police entered and found no one inside.
--The owner said a man he knows as “Miguel” with a long black ponytail entered the restaurant around 10:10pm and asked to use the bathroom. The owner allowed him to, then secured the eatery around 10:24pm without seeing the man leave the bathroom.
--The owner told police about $350 had been stolen from the counter near the door that faces N. Sixth Street. The door was found to be forced open.
--Police also talked to the 911 caller, who repeated what she told the 911 center – the suspect kept telling her about an arrest warrant against him.
--An investigation established the suspect’s identity as Miguel Rodriguez-Rodriguez. Mastrofilippo also said he has seen the suspect entering and leaving the restaurant on several occasions.
--The owner later picked out the suspect from an array of photos.
Rodriguez-Rodriguez was charged with criminal trespass and theft by unlawful taking. He was arraigned by 2:20am Thursday by on-duty District Judge Joseph Barner of Lower Nazareth Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail.
About 25 minutes later, Barner arraigned Rodriguez-Rodriguez on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with the Oct. 17 raid of a house at 613 Ferry St. The suspect allegedly had a crack pipe, a hypodermic needle and a razor blade with suspected drug residue on it.
He was one of eight people arrested during the raid. On Monday, another suspect – Benjamin Peeples, 73 – was arraigned, also on drug paraphernalia charges.
Barner set bail at $500 on the drug paraphernalia charge against Rodriguez-Rodriguez.