Officer charged in bar robbery under arrest

FRANKFORD - August 6, 2010

26-year veteran Kenneth Crockett was taken into custody at around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Prior to the transfer, his family involuntarily admitted Crockett to a mental facility.

Last week, Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams filed criminal charges against Crockett after he and two other officers were taped in Pat's Cafe afterhours.

The charges against Crockett are linked to the alleged theft of money from Pat's Café on July 27th. Crockett has been charged with Theft and Receiving Stolen Property; both are misdemeanor charges.

Crockett was supposed to surrender to the district attorney last Friday, but the night before, his family summoned police to take control of the 56-year old cop, who is looking at up to 10 years in prison and the loss of his pension.

"Members of his family became very concerned about his behavior and he was involuntarily committed so that he could get appropriate mental health treatment," Williams said.

Action News obtained surveillance video that apparently shows Crockett stealing money from the bar's safe in the pre-dawn hours on that Tuesday morning.

The security video is at the center of the investigation into whether Crockett, 56, did steal hundreds of dollars in cash.

The case unfolded after 4:00 a.m. when two officers were responding to a report of a burglar alarm at auto shop located behind the café. The alarm turned out to be unfounded.

At 4:25 a.m., the surveillance video shows the two Philadelphia police officers peering through the windows of Pat's Café. Then, they go in through a cellar door which was apparently unlocked. They appear to have gotten into the bar through a trap door in the floor. A third officer can be seen joining them later.

The three officers are then seen in the video staying in the bar for about 30 to 40 minutes, drinking what Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey insists were non-alcoholic beverages.

Ramsey said the officers were inside looking for a possible prowler. FOP President John McNesby said the officers were looking for the owner's phone number to contact him about the possible prowler.

Then, while two of the officers have their backs turned, a third officer, who police identify as Crockett, goes into a safe and pulls out what appears to be wads of cash, stuffing it on his person. About $825 were taken, investigators said.

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