Man faces felony robbery, theft charges

A Madera man was charged with felony robbery for his alleged role in a Philipsburg-area mugging.

According to the criminal complaint filed by state police at Philipsburg, a trooper was called in the early hours of May 6 to the Project 70 soccer fields in Rush Township. A woman claimed to have been pepper sprayed by an unknown male while she was in her vehicle with a friend.

The man took about $120 in cash from her purse before fleeing the scene in a pick-up truck, police said. A pepper spray canister was reportedly found at the scene.

The woman was treated by EMS and interviewed at the Philipsburg station, police said, where she reported she had come to the area from Delaware to visit family. She reportedly agreed to meet up with Shane M. Lowe, 24, whom she said she had met during her trips to the area.

They met at about 1 a.m., police said, and indicated that he is “sort of transient” so she agreed to let him stay with her that night at a motel. She denied any personal involvement with Lowe.

She picked Lowe up at about 1:15 a.m., police said, when he told her a friend of his could rent them a room when he got off work later. He reportedly directed her to the Project 70 area so they could “kill some time and wait for the friend.”

She was uncomfortable driving on the gravel road, police said, so they switched places and drove to a pull-off area to park. She reported observing a pick-up truck pull up behind them when Lowe allegedly lowered the passenger side window.

It was at that point a man sprayed her in the face and chest with pepper spray, police said, and Lowe attempted to remove her keys from the ignition. In the ensuing struggle, the vehicle accelerated and crashed.

The woman reported hearing Lowe telling the man to “get the stuff and get out of there,” police said. She then reportedly heard a vehicle speed away.

Lowe was arraigned May 26 by District Judge Allen Sinclair, according to court documents, and charged with felony counts of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, and misdemeanor charges of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. Straight monetary bail was set at $75,000.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews