James Cavallo Sr., Moore Township's acting police chief saw the signs his son might be using cocaine again — the unexplained disappearances, the excuses, the rapid weight loss.
Cavallo Sr. said that when he picked up a newspaper Wednesday at a convenience store and saw the surveillance photo of an alleged bank robbery the day before, his heart sank. He was sure it showed his son standing before the teller with a note in his hand.
Before he learned of the robbery, Cavallo Sr. had taken some time off from the job and spent some of it helping his son's wife care for their four children; Cavallo Jr. hadn't been home for two days.
Cavallo Sr. said he called his son 20 times and left messages, but never got a callback. He suspected his son in the bank robbery when he saw the newspaper story with the surveillance photo and read about the white van used as the getaway car.
Cavallo Sr. went to see Colonial Regional police Detective Gary Hammer and asked to see other photos from the robbery.
''When I saw those, that told me for sure,'' Cavallo said. ''It wasn't a hard decision at first, but as things went on, I felt sicker and sicker.''
Police, accompanied by Cavallo Sr., found his son at home and confronted him with the bank photos. Father and son spoke briefly in a room alone, the affidavit states.
Cavallo Jr. broke down and pulled out crumpled $20 bills from his pants pocket and led police to stashes of cash stored in another pair of pants and a bundle wrapped in two newspapers, according to the affidavit. Police recovered a total of $3,830.
DePalma said a gun was not recovered.
Cavallo Jr. was arraigned before Easton District Judge Gay Elwell on charges of robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.
Cavallo Sr. said he worries some members of his family will hate him for turning in his son, but felt he had to do it.
''Those people at the bank were probably terrified,'' he said. ''What happens if he robs another bank and the alarms go off and the cops get there? What if he got himself shot and killed?''
Cavallo Sr. said he can only hope for the best for his son, and even if he could afford the bail, he wouldn't pay it.
''My theory is: Maybe getting arrested is the first step to intervention,'' he said. ''I hope this does it, and I think this is what he needs.''