BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two people are facing charges Friday after police say both were involved in a burglary at a coffee and alcohol shop in downtown Tyrone.
Salvador Martinez Cortez, 20 and Jessie Novak, 33 were arrested on Sept. 30 after an investigation by the Tyrone Borough Police Department found that both plotted and carried out a burglary at The Brew Coffee and Tap along West 10th Street. Police were first called to The Brew on Sept. 21 after the building owner found several beer bottles, money, artwork and a coffee pot broken and scattered on the floor.
Tyrone police said security camera footage captured Cortez entering the back door of the business at 11:02 p.m. the night prior. Cortez was reportedly inside the business for 23 minutes where he took numerous bottles of alcohol including wine, whiskey, bourbon and craft beer.
Cortez was also seen on camera rearranging bottles of syrup, removing the filter from an ice machine and taking $396 in cash from containers that were hidden under a cash register and inside of a microwave. The store owners reportedly told police that only employees would have known how proper organization was important to them and where the money was kept.
Before leaving the business, police said Cortez broke oil paintings that were hanging in a hallway, dropped a case of beer on the floor and dropped money that had fallen from his pants. Over $3,000 in theft and damages were reported.
Security camera footage from nearby businesses also captured Cortez walking along Burley Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. on his way to The Brew wearing the same clothes as the suspect. Officers later pulled trash from the curbside of Cortez’s residence along West Cottage Street and found bottles of alcohol that were seen in security video and were only products sold at the business.
Cortez was subsequently taken into custody on Sept. 30. An investigation by police revealed that Cortez was not employed at The Brew but had discussed the burglary with Novak who was a former employee.
Novak had been recently fired after the owners told police they discovered money from sales earlier in the year missing. Novak was also fired in part because she allegedly told an employee “do you know how easy it would be to steal from here?” Cortez and Novak split the money taken from the business, according to police.
Cortez and Novak are both facing numerous charges including felony burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief.
Both were scheduled to have preliminary hearings on Oct. 12.
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