WESTERLY — The co-owner of a Beach Street restaurant is facing charges after the police said she broke into her own business in September and attempted to cover it up by calling police to report a break-in.
Westerly police charged 57-year-old Colleen Allard, of 55 Beach St., Apt. 16, on March 4 with breaking and entering a business with felonious intent and falsely reporting a crime. She was arraigned and released after posting a $2,000 surety bond.
Allard is due in Washington County Superior Court for a felony screening on May 28, according to Rhode Island judicial records.
Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the charges stem from an investigation into a reported Sept. 24, 2020, break-in at 55 Beach Street Cafe. Lacey said evidence including DNA analysis showed that Allard, despite having reported the alleged break-in, had cut her hand and caused the blood found near a broken window.
“All the blood we found, any evidence pointed back to her,” Lacey said.
Officers were first called to the restaurant around 4 a.m. after Allard called dispatchers to report that she had just arrived and discovered a broken window and damage to the business and cash register. A safe was also moved, but had not been entered.
The police said Allard told them she had just returned to the business after walking from Westerly Hospital and discovered the damage.
Lacey said that officers located blood spatter likely from the suspect that would have been left as a result of the glass from the broken window and it was taken as evidence for further analysis. On March 2, he said the department received lab results showing that all the blood recovered was a DNA match to Allard, who had small cuts on her hand that were visible to officers the night of the incident.
The police said based on the information, officers had reason to believe Allard had broken into the business herself before falsely reporting it. The department was then able to obtain an arrest warrant.