Man arrested for stealing donation jar at local restaurant
● By Lev
By John Chambless
A man wanted in connection with the theft of a donation jar from the Casa Italia restaurant in Franklin Township was arrested on Sept. 18, according to Pennsylvania State Police Avondale.
Orlando Collazo, Jr., 23, of West Chester, was arrested after surveillance video showed him and an accomplice stealing the jar, which contained about $400 in cash, from the restaurant counter on Sept. 1. They were confronted half a mile away from the restaurant by Gianluca Arienzo, 37, of Elkton, Md., who worked at the restaurant. Collazo reportedly reached into his waistband and displayed a silver handgun while walking toward Arienzo in a threatening manner. Arienzo retreated and called 911. Police are also seeking another man in connection with this robbery.
On Sept. 19, Pennsylvania State Police Avondale issued a press release calling for an end to what is being called "erroneous information" being posted on social media by area residents.
"Over the last few weeks of September there have been five burglaries in the western region of Chester County, which includes Elk Township, East Nottingham Township and Franklin Township," the release states. "Upon reviewing the posts, there are many that are misconstruing or exaggerating the truth. The Pennsylvania State Police appreciate the help of the community, but ask that only factual information be posted. When erroneous information is spread, citizens become overly alarmed unnecessarily."
In addition to the donation jar theft, some of the public comment stems from two Sept. 4 incidents, one of which involved a confrontation at gunpoint. Two homes were targeted by burglars in Elk Township, according to the report from Pennsylvania State Police Avondale. At 12:25 p.m., police responded to a report of an attempted burglary at a home on Canterbury Court. The caller said that she saw a white, four-door sedan pull up in front of her home. Two Hispanic men in their early 20s got out. One knocked on her front door while the second, armed with a semi-automatic pistol, tried to force open a back door. The men fled after the victim called police. A blue minivan followed the white car, the victim reported.
A few minutes later, police were called to Glen Hope Road in Elk Township. The victim said he was driving past his daughter's home and saw a blue minivan backed into the driveway. He stopped and investigated, and heard rustling coming from the garage. He began to call police when a Hispanic man with a bandana over his face ordered the victim to the ground at gunpoint. The Hispanic man got into the blue minivan, identified as a Dodge Caravan, and drove away on Glen Hope Road towards Canterbury Court. A rifle and ammunition were stolen from the home.
The incidents are believed to be related. Police think that the burglars did not know the homes were occupied. Police described the three men as Hispanic, in their early 20s, two of whom had tattoos on their upper arms. The masked man was wearing a gray bandana, light gray T-shirt and dark pants.
In the press release issued on Sept. 19, police warn the public that, "if contact is made with anyone suspicious, do not take matters into your own hands, possibly putting yourself at risk. Call the state police or your local police agency immediately."
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.