Metro

Man arrested in Salem theft

Woman also held on prostitution

Salem police investigating the robbery of $70 from a Bridge Street coffee shop allegedly found not only the thief, but also a prostitution business.

While investigating an unarmed robbery at the Coffee Time Bake Shop on June 10, police obtained the cellphone number of a woman who allegedly knew the male thief, said Lieutenant Conrad Prosniewski of the Salem police.

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A Google search of the phone number turned up an online advertisement to hire an escort by the name of Misha, Prosniewski said.

An undercover detective called the number and set up an appointment to meet the escort, later identified as Jennifer Owens, 44, at her house. When the detective arrived, Owens allegedly accepted $100 as payment to perform a sexual act. She was arrested and faces a charge of sexual conduct for a fee, Prosniewski said.

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While police were interviewing Owens Monday, she allegedly told them that her boyfriend, Aaron Pelletier, 44, had robbed the coffee shop, Prosniewski said. Police charged Pelletier with unarmed robbery after he allegedly admitted to officers that he had stolen $70 from the register to fund his drug habit, Prosniewski said.

Not-guilty pleas were entered on behalf of both Owens and Pelletier at separate arraignments Tuesday in Salem District Court. Owens was held in lieu of $1,500 cash bail, and Pelletier was held in lieu of $500 cash bail, Prosniewski said.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.
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