Police in Salem, New Hampshire, arrested a former Bertucci's employee who allegedly robbed the restaurant at knifepoint on Thursday morning.
Michael Schwerin, 45, of Derry is charged with robbery. He was ordered held without bail in Salem District Court on Thursday and will be arraigned on Friday.
Police said they received a 911 call around 7:45 a.m. Thursday from the manager of Bertucci's at the Mall at Rockingham Park, reporting that he had just been robbed at knifepoint. The manager was familiar with the suspect, as he had previously worked at the restaurant for many years.
The victim said Schwerin entered the restaurant through a side door. The two had coffee and spoke casually for about 15 minutes. When the manager said he had to start opening hte business, Schwerin allegedly brandished a kitchen knife and demanded a lock box containing cash. He also demanded the cash out of the safe. The manager complied with the request and handed over the money.
As soon as Schwerin left the restaurant, the victim locked the door and called 911
Dispatchers were able to find a 2012 Honda Accord registered to the suspect, and immediately issued an attempt to locate.
About 15 minutes later, a Salem Police detective spotted the suspect vehicle on Interstate 93 north near Exit 2. He followed the vehicle until Salem officers and New Hampshire State Police troopers could catch up to his location.
Police stopped the vehicle and took Schwerin into custody without incident.
All items taken in the incident were recovered.