Michigan parole absconder accused of stealing money meant for children with disabilities

John Rowell (Waterford Police)

A parole absconder is back in custody after police say he stole money meant for children with disabilities at a fundraiser in Waterford Township.

The Miracle League of Oakland County was holding a fundraiser at Century Bowl on Jan. 6 when 41-year-old John Allen Rowell, of Flint, allegedly walked in and stole a bag from the registration table. Event organizers were putting cash and checks into that bag, and about $300 in cash and a check worth $210 were stolen.

That money was meant to help provide children with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball on a team.

"It was unsettling," said Susie Glasgow with Miracle League. "But we have a strong community around us and everybody pulled together."

Rowell fled and was arrested Monday evening at a motel in the Flint area after video footage and a motel key he left behind led police to him. Police said he tried to run during his arrest.

Police said Rowell confesses to stealing the bag. The bag was found in his motel room.

"Century bowl donated a $1,000 to us," Glasgow said. "Between them and the community we’ve surpassed probably $6,000+ at this point. We’re looking just to move on, do some bowling, and play some baseball soon."

According to court records, Rowell is currently on parole for resisting police, malicious destruction, and breaking and entering. He has a long criminal record, with felony convictions dating back as far as 2001.

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