York woman accused of robbing victim at Econo Lodge; police still looking for her partner

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, York County — Police are seeking the half of a duo accused of robbing a man of more than $1,000 in cash at a Manchester Township motel last month.

One woman is in custody; police say they are still searching for her male partner.

According to Northern York County Regional Police, Emily Ann Merth, 23, of York, was arrested on Jan. 10. Police are still searching for her accused partner in crime, Joel Mario Perez, 25, also of York.

Merth and Perez are accused of forcing their way inside a male victim’s room at the Econo Lodge on Arsenal Road on the morning of Dec. 11.

The victim, who had just gotten out of the shower, allegedly struggled with the suspects and chased them out of the motel, but not until after they had taken his money.

Police say the investigation began when a housekeeper called police and reported hearing a disturbance in one of the rooms.

The victim told police he  was showering when he heard a knock at the door. He said he wrapped himself in a towel and went to answer it, finding a woman there. When he asked what she wanted, the victim said, a man forced his way into the room, while the woman followed.

The suspects were later identified as Merth and Perez, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim told police he struggled with the suspects, attempting to push them from the room. As he struggled, the towel he was using to cover himself fell off. The victim said his feet and the floor were wet, preventing him from getting any traction, police say.

While Perez and the victim struggled, Merth allegedly grabbed $22 in cash from a nearby table. During the scuffle, the victim’s backpack fell from the coat rack it was hanging on, exposing an envelope with $1,300 inside, police say. Merth allegedly grabbed the envelope, and after another short scuffle, managed to flee from the room, along with Perez, police say.

The victim pursued the suspects down a hallway in the motel, until they fled through an exit.

Police searched the area and were unable to find either suspect, according to the criminal complaint. They found the envelope taken from the victim’s room, but it was empty.

Analysis of finger and palm prints taken from the door to the victim’s room led to a match for Perez, according to the criminal complaint. The victim also picked Merth and Perez out of a photo lineup provided by police, according to the criminal complaint.

Merth was located and arrested on Jan. 10. Perez remains at large, police say.

 

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