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Florida Police Charge Pittsburgh Officer With Theft

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via YellowBrix

August 17, 2010

Orlando, Fla. police have charged a Pittsburgh police officer with stealing more than $300 worth of Harry Potter merchandise from Universal Studios Florida, where he was vacationing with his family this weekend.

Officer Henry A. Rogowski, 49, will face discipline when he returns, Chief Nate Harper said. A 17-year veteran who works out of the Allentown station, Officer Rogowski will likely be moved to administrative duty while the Office of Municipal Investigations probes the case.

On Sunday, a loss prevention officer at a gift shop watched Officer Rogowski take two Gryffindor photo albums from a rack and put them in a plastic Universal Studios bag he was carrying, according to an affidavit supporting his arrest. He also took 12 Harry Potter bookmarks and a key chain from a display and put the items in his bag as he was walking way, police said.

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Officer Henry A. Rogowski

As he was exiting, the loss prevention officer saw him take a set of Harry Potter playing cards “without making an attempt to pay for the merchandise,” the affidavit says. He admitted taking the items when she confronted him.

Officer Rogowski later told police his family had visited Universal Studios in April but returned because the Harry Potter ride was not open yet. He said he selected some items in the gift shop and attempted to pay for them, but “the registers were busy and he did not feel like waiting,” the affidavit says.

“I’m sorry,” he told police. “I know I did something stupid.”

Orlando police charged Officer Rogowski with grand theft and confiscated the personally owned firearm he had been carrying at the theme park.

“It gives our department a black eye,” Chief Harper said. “Anytime we see one of our officers act in this manner, it’s very troublesome and its very embarrassing.”


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