Red Lion man accused of stealing wallet, cell phone from victim outside pizza place

NORTH YORK — A Red Lion man is facing robbery, theft and receiving stolen property charges after allegedly stealing a man’s cell phone and wallet outside a North York pizza place late last year.

John Henry Vincent Lake, 34, of Boundary Avenue, was charged on March 14 after a police investigation into a robbery that occurred on Oct. 25, 2017 near Big Mouth Pizza in North York.

According to Northern York County Regional Police, the victim reported that he was robbed at the intersection of East 7th Avenue and Court Alley. The victim told police he had bought slices of pizza for two men who did not have any money. He then left with the men and walked down 7th Avenue, where he offered one of them, whom he described as the shorter of the two men, a dollar.

The shorter man, later identified as Lake, grabbed the victim’s cell phone and wallet and ran away with the other man, the victim said.

Police used video surveillance taken from the pizza place to verify portions of the victim’s report. He is seen buying the two men pizza and leaving with them.

The investigating officer distributed a screen grab of the shorter man to area law enforcement, according to the criminal complaint. A member of York County Adult Probation later contacted the investigating officer and identified the suspect as Lake. Other officers who had dealt with Lake in the past also identified him as the suspect, the criminal complaint says.

Police tried to interview Lake about the incident, but he refused to make a statement, police say. During the attempted interview, Lake’s wife called and said Lake had told her who committed the robbery, identifying another man. Police looked into the man’s name and found he in no way matched the suspect, according to the criminal complaint.

Police then filed an arrest warrant for Lake.