Archive for category Lehigh

When Allentown Fairgrounds gave World War I ambulance crews their start

Organizers of the Great Allentown Fair are commemorating 100 years since the grounds became Camp Crane, 1917 to 1919.

A string of success for the Great Allentown Fair hit a…

Allentown police looking for driver who hit, dragged bicycle rider

Anyone with information is asked to call the traffic unit at 610-437-7731 or to use the free Tip411 app.

Allentown police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver inv…

Northampton County Top 10 fugitive arrested in Allentown

She had been on the lam since 2012.

One of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department’s Top 10 most wanted fugitives is back behind bars.
Nydia Tirado. (Courtesy photo | Fo…

Judge: Gang member’s robbery, assault in Downtown Allentown was for ‘sport’

The judge said the member of the Santana Blocc Crips is someone the public “should be afraid of.”

A reported member of the Santana Blocc Crips had nothing to say to a judge before being sentenced on Tuesday, but video of one of his attacks in Allentown did all the talking.

The random victim, a 13-year-old boy, is seen April 13, 2016, walking down Church Street, near Hamilton Street in Downtown Allentown.

Jahron Morales, in a blue hooded sweatshirt, and an accomplice, in dark clothing, are shown in the video running down the alley behind the victim, when Morales uses something to hit the victim in the head, knocking the boy to the ground.

Morales secures something in his pants, before looking through the victim’s pockets. The pair of robbers run away in one direction, and the victim gets up and flees in another direction.

Morales denied having a weapon, but Chief Deputy District Attorney Bethany Zapogna said the victim reported being hit in the head with something metal, and believed it was a handgun.

About an hour after that attack, Morales and a number of his friends approached two 15-year-old boys as they walked in Valania Park in the 500 block of Union Street, and robbed one of them.

Morales was 18 at the time of the crimes, and is 19 now.

After seeing the video and numerous photos of Morales’ reported gang affiliations, Judge Kelly Banach sentenced him to two to 10 years in state prison on two counts of robbery.

No outfit change for robber between probation meeting, armed crimes, cops say

Allentown police officer Nicholas Lerch, who is with the gang task force, testified on Tuesday that Morales is a confirmed member of the Santana Blocc Crips.

Photos on Facebook show Morales with other gang members and him giving the gang’s “C” hand sign; Morales admitted to being a SBC member to his probation officer; Morales told a detective he was “jumped in” to the gang; and other gang members identified Morales as being part of the Santana Blocc Crips, Lerch said.

Prosecutors said the photos show Morales with other confirmed gang members, including Tai-Jon Edwards and Marcus McCrae. One photo, taken in the county jail visitation room while Morales awaited trial in his cases, shows Morales and Edwards flashing the “C” gang sign.

A day after Morales’ robberies, Edwards and McCrae were part of a group that tried to steal a hoverboard, but were shot at before the car they fled in crashed.

Edwards pleaded no contest to robbery in that case and was sentenced to 1-and-a-half years to five years in state prison. McCrae pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to 3-and-a-half to 12 years in state prison.

Jail officials also found documents in Morales’ cell with “Santana Blocc Crips” written on it.

Zampogna said the documents used the terms “opps,” which means cops. Morales told the judge the term “opps” meant opposition. The judge asked Morales to spell opposition; he could not.

Morales was wearing a pink prison jumpsuit on Tuesday, signifying a number of misconducts he has had in county jail.

Morales was on probation at the time of the robberies and, in fact, was wearing the same clothing during the crimes that he wore to a meeting with his probation officer earlier that day.

“I’m not sure what the system can do for him,” Zampogna said.

This was Morales’ third robbery. He was adjudicated delinquent for a 2015 robbery, where Morales attacked a random girl walking home and stole her phone, the prosecutor said.

“He hasn’t changed at all. In fact, he’s gotten worse,” Zampogna said. “These victims need to be protected, the streets need to be protected from people like this defendant.”

Banach asked if Morales knew the victims, and he said he did not.

“Then it is sport. Then it is just for something to do,” the judge said. “You’ve ruined your life. You know that. You ruined it.”

Banach asked how Morales would be able to get a job after serving his time, with three robberies under his belt.

“You’re a person who is now someone we should be afraid of,” the judge said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find on Facebook.


Gun-wielding robber fatally shot by Allentown police identified

The robber shot a pharmacy clerk in the Sunday morning robbery and fled officers, police said.

Authorities have identified the man they say robbed Whitehall Pharmacy and sho…

Body found under Allentown bridge, report says

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Motorcyclist high on meth during East Allen Twp. crash, cops say

The driver was injured in the crash and taken to an area hospital, police said.

Joseph MocniakCourtesy photo 
An Allentown man used methamphetamine about an hour prior …

Road work set to begin Monday along I-78 in NorCo, Lehigh

Drivers should use extra caution and expect delays, state transportation officials say.

Various road work projects are set to begin Monday along portions of Interstate 78 …

Man charged with attempted homicide in Lehigh County shooting

Police responded Saturday to the property at 7777 Tumblebrook Road in Upper Saucon Township.

An Upper Saucon Township man is facing an attempted homicide charge stemming from&nbs…

Police chase ends with shots fired in Allentown, report says (PHOTOS)

One person has been taken to an area hospital, according to a report.

Allentown police are investigating what appears to be a crash involving a patrol vehicle and pickup tru…