Archive for category colonial regional police department

Man returns to parking lot of store he stole from, gets arrested, police say

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Gary Counterman, 47, remains in Northampton County Prison after failing to post $30,000 bail.

A 47-year-old man is in Northampton County Prison after allegedly stealing two computer monitors from the Lower Nazareth Wal-Mart.

Gary Counterman, no address given, was arrested March 14 when he returned to the scene of the crime, police report.

Wal-Mart loss prevention staff spotted Counterman walk out of the store without paying for the computer monitors, valued at $780, and called Colonial Regional police, police say in a news release.

Counterman got into a gray Chevy and drove away but 45 minutes later police spotted the car in the parking lot for a second time, police said. Police stopped the car and found the stolen monitors, police said.

Counterman was arrested and arraigned on a charge of retail theft. He remains in jail in lieu of $30,000 bail straight, online court records indicate.

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo. Find Bethlehem news on Facebook.

Bangor man steals $2,700 from Wal-Mart during four separate thefts, Colonial Regional police say

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Police say during one trip to the store, the 41-year-old suspect stole two 40-inch TVs and two sound systems.

wal mart genericView full sizePolice say the 41-year-old Bangor man stole from the store three times in January and tried once in March.

A Bangor man’s rash of thefts at a Lower Nazareth Township Wal-Mart totaled $2,706 during four trips to the store, court records say.

When Shawn Hayes, 41, of the first block of North Main Street, walked into the Wal-Mart store Wednesday, security immediately recognized him as a man wanted in a three previous retail thefts at the location, according to records.

Authorities watched Hayes make his way around the store, court papers say. Police say he had $542 worth of merchandise in his cart when he tried to leave. Hayes was detained and interviewed by authorities, records say. He agreed to speak to police and readily admitted to stealing store products and selling them in the street, court records say.

Video surveillance captured at the store showed Hayes stealing items from the store on multiple days throughout January, including one trip where he took two 40-inch televisions and a two sound systems, records say. Hayes stole $298 worth of items on Jan. 5, $942 worth of items on Jan. 12 and $924 worth of items on Jan. 14, according to authorities.

Hayes was arraigned before on-call District Judge Jacqueline Taschner on four counts of retail theft. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail. 

Colonial Regional police officer retires after emotional ride

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

More than a dozen police cruisers formed a convoy with lights flashing and sirens blaring for former Bath police Chief and retiring Colonial Regional officer Anthony Kovalovsky

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After more than 30 years of wearing a badge, Anthony Kovalovsky rode home in style Sunday.

The 56-year-old Bath resident retired as a member of the Colonial Regional Police Department and was ferried home in a convoy of more than a dozen police cruisers with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

The offices assembled on the street in front of his home, saluting him as he emerged from his vehicle.

He shook hands with each officer, sometimes stopping to hug one or slap one on the back. He wiped away a tear as he hugged Colonial Regional Chief Roy Seiple.

“I actually was tearing up since I left the station,” Kovalovsky said. “Final ride home. I did it all my life. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the people, my fellow officers.”

Kovalovsky was the Bath police chief when his force merged with Colonial Regional in 1995. Sgt. George Cuchran described Kovalovsky as a lifelong Bath resident who put his community first and served as mentor for himself and the younger officers.

“I’ve trained quite a few of the new guys who have come on board, a great bunch of guys,” Kovalovsky said.

Now Kovalovsky will have more time to spend with his wife, Betsy. His immediate plans are a cruise with her, his daughter and son-in-law to St. Thomas and the Bahamas.

As quickly as the convoy descended on East Main Street, the group dispersed.

“Betsy, he’s all yours,” Seiple told Kovalovsky’s wife.

She said her husband’s decision to retire came about a year ago.

Asked what he’ll do in the next chapter of his life, Kovalovsky said, “Hopefully enjoy it. See what it brings and we’ll take it from there.”

Prank call, death threats to Bath bar land 20-year-old behind bars, police report

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The 20-year-old introduced himself as "Marshall Law" before making death threats to an employee at Kicker's Pub, police say.

COLONIAL REGIONAL POLICE CARView full sizeColonial Regional police charged Elijah Garcia in relation to a Tuesday prank call to Kicker’s Pub. 

A Bath man’s alleged prank call to a borough bar landed him behind bars Tuesday.

Police say Elijah Garcia, 20, of the 100 block of West Main Street, phoned Kicker’s Pub just after noon Tuesday and asked if they were serving liquor. When the worker who answered the line answered yes and asked Garcia for his name, court records say, he called himself “Marshall Law.”

After a pause, court records say Garcia continued.

“You better go in the basement of your house because I’m going to kill you all,” Garcia allegedly said before hanging up.

Lauren Shala, owner of the pub, said she called the number that showed up on the bar’s caller ID but the person who answered hung up on her. Shala said she weighed whether to call police but eventually decided to err on the side of caution.

“I just didn’t want something to happen and then have me not having done anything,” Shala said. “I’m thinking about everyone that comes in here.”

Colonial Regional police contacted Garcia and spoke with him on his front porch, court papers say. Garcia allegedly admitted to calling the bar but said it was all just a joke. As police continued questioning Garcia, records say, he told them he didn’t have to hand over his state identification unless he was under arrest. Police say they then placed the 20-year-old under arrest.

Authorities say Garcia’s alleged mischief continued at the police station: He’s also accused of clogging the station’s toilet.

Garcia was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge John Capobianco on charges of terroristic threats causing serious public inconvenience, disorderly conduct and institutional vandalism. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail. 

Nazareth man steals from Lower Nazareth store, leads authorities on chase before arrest, police say

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A K-9 helps in the apprehension of the 23-year-old.

Colonial Regional police carView full sizeColonial Regional police, deploying a K-9, take a Nazareth man into custody on a variety of charges. 

A 23-year-old Nazareth man faces an array of charges after stealing merchandise from the Target in Lower Nazareth Township and fleeing authorities, Colonial Regional police report.

David Repsher, of Whitfield Street, was seen at 9:15 p.m. Thursday leaving the store in the 3800 block of Dryland Way carrying a computer tablet and sweatpants worth $159 that he stole, police said.

As police arrived, Repsher ran south across a parking lot into a field, police said. A Colonial Regional K-9 was deployed and found Repsher hiding in a depression in the middle of the field, police said.

After being told he was under arrest, Repsher got up and concealed his hands in the front of his waistband, leading authorities to believe he had a weapon, police said. When Respher refused to show his hands, the dog was again deployed, knocking Repsher to the ground, police said. But Repsher got up again, reaching again for his waistband before another Colonial Regional officer tackled him and put him in custody, police said.

Repsher was carrying 20 packets of heroin, a knife and a syringe, police said. The stolen goods were found in the depression in the field where Repsher initially hid, police said.

He was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania, for treatment of an injury inflicted by the K-9, police said.

Repsher was then arraigned before on-call District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez on charges of retail theft, flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said. He was sent to Northampton County Prison on a sheriff’s department bench warrant and in lieu of $15,000 bail, police said. He reminded Friday morning in jail, according to online records.

Easton man faces DUI charge after dragging tractor-trailer’s landing gear on Route 512, police say

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The 54-year-old is also charged with careless driving, Colonial Regional police say.

COLONIAL_REGIONAL_POLICEView full sizeColonial Regional police charge a truck driver with DUI after allegedly seeing the truck’s landing gear dragging along Route 512 in Hanover Township, Northampton County. 

An Easton man who “may have” drunk nine to 12 beers, slept for a couple of hours and then returned to his job as a truck driver is charged with drunken driving, Colonial Regional police report.

Daniel Pfefferie, 54, of Lehigh Street, was driving a blue tractor-trailer about 7:54 p.m. Nov. 18 south on Route 512 near Southland Drive in Hanover Township, Northampton County, when police noticed sparks coming from the landing gear of the trailer, according to a news release.

Pfefferie told officers he forgot to crank up the landing gear, police said. While being questioned, Pfefferie was very talkative and having difficulty engaging the cranking mechanism to raise the gear, police said.

As an officer spoke with Pfefferie, the officer noticed the smell of alcohol coming from the gum-chewing trucker who also had bloodshot eyes, police said.

After field sobriety tests, Pfefferie was taken into custody on suspicion of drunken driving, police said.

Pfefferie told police it’s possible he drank nine to 12 beers after leaving work that morning, the news release said. After “a few hours” of sleep, he returned to work, carrying two unopened beers in his lunch bag, which officers found in the truck, police said.

Pfefferie’s blood alcohol content was 0.10, police said; penalties begin for most drivers at 0.08.

He is charged with careless driving, DUI general impairment and DUI – commercial vehicle, police said. The charges are filed in District Judge James Narlesy’s court, police said.

Colonial Regional police arrest one of two men involved in attack on woman at Hanover Township campsite

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Police say the female victim suffered head and facial injuries in Monday night's attack.

A Bethlehem man is accused of assisting in the assault of a woman staying at a wooded camp in Hanover Township, Northampton County, according to court records.

Police say Gerald Thomas, 44, of the 1700 block of Broadway, and 44-year-old Richard Heilman, went Monday night to an encampment belonging to Mark LeFever and Andrea Wunderly. The site is in the woods off Schoenersville Road, police said.

Colonial Regional police say Heilman attacked Wunderly with a metal ball wrapped in a sap or club. LeFever tried to intervene, police say, and Thomas grabbed and held him to prevent him from coming to the aid of the woman.

Wunderly suffered head and facial injuries from the attack, including a swollen eye socket and cuts to her head, requiring her to get stitches, police said. 

Thomas was arraigned early Tuesday morning before District Judge Douglas Schlegel on charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit simple assault and conspiracy to commit harassment. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. 

Court papers indicate Heilman is not in custody. He’s wanted for aggravated assault, simple assault, possession of a prohibited weapon and harassment, authorities said.

Lower Nazareth Township to pay 5.3 percent more for police services under budget proposal

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Lower Nazareth's total bill for police services would be about $1.2 million, Bath would pay $393,142 and Hanover Township, Northampton County would pay $1.6 million under the 2015 proposal.

Lower Nazareth Township will pay about 5.3 percent more next year for Colonial Regional police services.

Under a proposed $3.2 million Colonial Regional Police Department budget for 2015, Lower Nazareth would pay $1.2 million, Bath would pay $393,142 and Hanover Township, Northampton County would pay $1.6 million.

Colonial Regional covers those three municipalities. The overall budget is up 1.6 percent from last year.

Lower Nazareth is paying a 5.3 percent increase while Bath’s share is decreasing by less than 1 percent and Hanover Township is increasing by less than 1 percent.   

Supervisor Eric Nagle, who in June resigned from serving on the Colonial Regional Police Commission, wanted the township to form its own police department after taxpayers were on the hook in 2014 for a $45,000 increase. The plan to form a township police department was struck down in a 3-2 vote in June.

Nagle was visibly annoyed at last week’s board meeting, saying again Lower Nazareth Township is paying more for Colonial Regional than if it had formed its own police department. His frustration led to a heated exchange with Supervisor Martin Boucher.

“I want the taxpayers to understand we’re paying about $300,000 more,” Nagle said.

Boucher, who serves on the Colonial Regional Commission, replied he felt the money was well spent since the volume of calls has increased.

A study conducted by Township Manager Timm Tenges had estimated Lower Nazareth Township could save about $238,000 annually by breaking from Colonial Regional Police Department and forming its own department. The township department would have cost $961,769 annually with seven full-time officers, plus start-up costs, according to the study.

Former Colonial Regional Commission Chairman Glenn Walbert, who remains a member of the commission representing Hanover Township, said Sunday the cost per municipality is based on population growth, the amount of incidents police respond to and assessed property values.

“Lower Nazareth is growing in incidents and assessed property value,” Walbert said. “Hanover Township is virtually built-out. Bath has been essentially landlocked for a long time. Lower Nazareth did have an increase in calls. They are a growing municipality.”

Lower Nazareth averages 300 incidents in need of police services monthly, Walbert said.

In 2013, Colonial Regional police responded to 3,690 incidents in Lower Nazareth and in 2012, 3,513 incidents. Since January, officers have responded to 2,761 incidents in Lower Nazareth, said Walbert, who projects a total of 3,800 incidents by the end of the year.

Nagle has long been against the regional police funding formula. He argued each municipality’s share should be based solely on population.

But Walbert said it’s not that clear cut.

“When you have a municipality with a diverse mix of residential, industrial and commercial, trying to set a budget based on just residential is not workable,” he said. “All these things have impacts on the demand for police services.”

Lower Nazareth supervisors, as well as the governing bodies in Hanover Township and Bath, are expected to vote whether to approve the Colonial Regional Police Commission budget by the end of next month.

Forks Township man arrested after stealing vacuum cleaner from Wal-Mart, police say

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The 48-year-old runs off but is tracked down, police say.

A 48-year-old Forks Township man faces charges after stealing a vacuum cleaner from the Wal-Mart in Lower Nazareth Township, Colonial Regional police report this morning in a news release.

Daniel Floyd Matlock, of the 400 block of Kesslersville Road, took a $379 Dyson from the store in the 3700 block of Easton Nazareth Highway, police said.

Matlock ran off but was taken into custody not far away, police said. The vacuum cleaner was recovered, police said.

Matlock was arraigned before District Judge Joseph Barner on charges of retail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said. He was released on $3,500 unsecured bail, police said.

A preliminary hearing is initially scheduled 10:45 a.m. Sept. 4, court records say.

Nazareth robbery suspect’s unplanned escape foiled by Mother Nature, police say

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The 24-year-old Bath man spent the night hiding under a Nazareth porch before going to a grocery story to get warm, borough police say.

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It was out of desperation that an armed robbery suspect fled custody after a court hearing Monday, his girlfriend said.

On the lam for less than a day, Daniel Joseph Preziosi was arrested this morning in a Lower Nazareth Township supermarket restroom, police say.

The 24-year-old Bath man had faced charges related to an Oct. 19 armed robber of a Bath grocery store.

Back in the same Nazareth courtroom today, Preziosi saw his bail set at $175,000 on a newly filed escape charge.

“Unfortunately, you’re a flight risk,” District Judge John Capobianco told Preziosi.

Preziosi laughed, and replied, “Yeah,” which was followed by a long pause. “That’s a lot of money.”

Because he couldn’t post the $75,000 bail that kept him in Northampton County Prison following the robbery, Preziosi said he would unlikely be able to raise the $175,000.

The judge then warned Preziosi, saying, “I don’t want to get involved in anything here, but just use your head on the way out.”

Preziosi, who was dressed in gray sweat clothes, was shackled and handcuffed today.  Nazareth police officer Alan Koch held the back of Preziosi’s chair during the hearing. Prior to being moved into the courtroom, Preziosi was shackled to a wall in a holding room.

Instead of walking from the police station to the attached court building, as an extra precaution, Preziosi was driven around the block before being brought into court.

Preziosi was escorted from court without incident after the hearing.

‘He wasn’t thinking clearly’

 After the hearing, Preziosi was allowed to speak with his girlfriend, 19-year-old Samantha Tagliaterra. She wasn’t allowed in the courtroom today for the arraignment; she attended Monday’s hearing, also before Capobianco.

After court, a somewhat calmer Tagliaterra stressed that Preziosi had been upset and acted in desperation. Tagliaterra has been involved with Preziosi for a year and previously lived with him in an apartment in the 100 block of East Main Street in Bath.

“He wasn’t thinking clearly,” she said, fighting tears. “His lawyer (Christopher Shipman) wasn’t doing much for him. He didn’t realize it was going to be like all of this.”

Shipman this morning urged Preziosi to turn himself in to authorities. He could not be reached for further comment this afternoon.

Tagliaterra said Preziosi had a drug problem some time ago. He had served time for delivery of heroin, according to a probation violation report. Tagliaterra said he also was depressed.

“I don’t think he had a plan,” she said. “He was going to turn himself in because he was going to die out here” in the cold, snowy weather. “I love him and I will be here for him.”

Tagliaterra was not involved with the robbery or escape, authorities said, although police did track down her car outside her Bath apartment, above Fox’s Gentlemen’s Club, as part of the search for Preziosi.

Monday’s escape

As he was leaving court about 11:30 a.m. Monday, Preziosi ran off across the court’s parking lot, trailed by two constables, Koch, the Nazareth police officer, said in court papers. The officer was pulling up in his police cruiser at the time.

Preziosi, who was wearing a red prison jumpsuit, removed a transport belt from around his waist and dropped it in the parking lot, Koch said in court papers.

Preziosi ran west across South Green Street, going through a few back yards with constable Jose Garcia trailing several yards behind, Koch said. Police lost sight of Preziosi in the area of South Church Street, Koch said. A K-9 dog was unable to pick up a scent in that area, leading authorities to conclude he drove off, court papers say. That began the search for Tagliaterra’s car.

He did not drive off, but remained within five blocks of the court throughout the day and night, court records say. Police found his prison jumpsuit outside in the 100 block of Mauch Chunk Street in Nazareth.

Preziosi hid under a home’s front porch, leaving only when heading to Giant in Lower Nazareth Township to get warm, Nazareth police Chief Thomas Trachta said, refusing to identify the home. Police had yet to interview the homeowner, Trachta said this morning.

“It appears he had a bonehead idea to do this,” Trachta said of Preziosi. “There wasn’t much planning.”

Getting warm at Giant

 Preziosi came into the Giant grocery store about 10 a.m. today at Routes 191 and 248 looking to use the restroom and get warm, police said.

Due to what Trachta called “excellent media coverage,” several Giant employees recognized him and called authorities.

Nazareth officers took him into custody without struggle, police said.

When asked if Preziosi had anything to say when he was arrested, Trachta relayed Preziosi’s words, “It’s too damn cold.”

“Mother Nature got the best of him,” Trachta said.