An Augusta man has been charged after allegedly stealing money from a safe while breaking into the restaurant where he works.

Shawn Owens, 23, is charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief in connection with an Aug. 25 break-in at Amato’s on Western Avenue. Owens was being held Saturday at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $750 cash bail with a Maine Pretrial Services contract. Conditions of his release prohibit him from returning to Amato’s.

Owens was arrested Wednesday by police investigating an overnight burglary on at Amato’s, at 34 Western Ave. Augusta police Detective Christopher Blodgett said in an affidavit filed in Kennebec County Superior Court that someone broke into the restaurant through a side door and stole more than $2,100 from a safe. Police learned that the safe’s key, which had been stored in the building, was missing.

Blodgett said the restaurant also was burglarized in January. Owens had a key to the restaurant at the time of the January burglary, during which there was no forced entry, Blodgett said.

Owens, who worked at the restaurant sporadically over the weeks before the August burglary, did not have a key at the time of the second break-in. Blodgett said Owens knew where restaurant manager David Russell briefly kept the safe key. The burglar rummaged through the area before finding the key in another location.

“David suspected Shawn Owens as being responsible for the burglary,” Blodgett wrote. “He explained Shawn has been a no-call, no-show for the last three shifts.”

Owens, during an interview a couple of weeks after the August burglary, told Blodgett he was not responsible for the break-in, Blodgett said in the affidavit. Blodgett said Owens “appeared nervous” and “got teary-eyed” and repeatedly asked how long he would go to jail if he was convicted of the burglaries.

“He admitted to battling a drug addiction and wanting to get help for it,” Blodgett wrote. “He also advised he was having some issues with his girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child, and is trying to get clean.”

Owens’ girlfriend, Jessica Bowley, called police at the end of September, claiming Owens had come to her apartment around the time of the August burglary, carrying $1,800. A few days later, Owens bought Bowley a sweatshirt, Blodgett said. Owens later told Bowley he had bought a TV set, new tires for his car and a laptop, and Bowley said there were marks on Owens’ arms from increased drug use, Blodgett said.

Owens admitted committing the burglary when Bowley confronted him, Blodgett wrote.

“Shawn added he felt better now that he told someone,” he wrote. “Shawn said he felt a weight lift off his shoulders.”

Bowley said Owens “destroyed” the office because the key safe had been moved from where he last knew it was stored, and she went to police with the information because Owens was creating “a lot of problems and stress,” Blodgett wrote.

“She is currently pregnant with his child, and his drug addiction is causing problems to where she is scared of him,” Blodgett wrote, adding that Owens has a been convicted of a number of crimes, including burglary of a vehicle, theft, criminal threatening and assault, dating back to 2011.

Police found a hypodermic needle in Owens’ pockets when they arrested him at his Hospital Street apartment, Blodgett wrote.

“I attempted to read Shawn his Miranda warning, at which time he advised me there was not going to be a discussion and he wanted to speak to a lawyer,” he wrote.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

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Twitter: @CraigCrosby4