CLEARFIELD – A Houtzdale man accused of stealing money from the cash register at a local dollar store waived the charges to court Wednesday at his preliminary hearing at the Clearfield County Jail.
Robert Stephen Gavlak II, 26, of Houtzdale has been charged by state police at Clearfield with theft by unlawful taking. His bail has been set at $25,000 monetary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Dec. 22 an employee from Dollar General, Houtzdale, placed a call to 911, which was transferred to the state police barracks.
It was reported that the store had been “robbed,” and the suspect had fled on foot. Upon arrival to the scene, troopers viewed surveillance and interviewed witnesses.
The surveillance showed Gavlak in the store, and he was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt with the hood up over his hat. He paid for an item at the check-out but didn’t leave the store.
Gavlak lingered and returned to the register. He purchased another small item and when the cash register was open, he allegedly dove across and began pulling cash from it.
The cashier was shown grabbing Gavlak’s arm with her left hand, while she was trying to close the cash register with her other hand. Gavlak stated to her twice, “Let me in there or I’ll stab you,” she told state police.
After a few seconds, the cashier let Gavlak go and he fled from the store. He got away with $205 in cash, according to the affidavit. The cashier and witnesses identified the suspect as Gavlak.
Gavlak was located around three hours later when he returned to his residence. He was taken to the Clearfield barracks where he confessed to committing the crime.
During the interview, Gavlak told state police that he had a drug addiction and needed money. Immediately after committing the crime, he allegedly said he spent the money trying to buy drugs.
Gavlak also confessed to using drugs earlier in the day.