CRIME ALERT: Debit Card Scam via Text Message

Please be aware that there is a Debit Card Scam circulating by the use of text messaging.  If you receive a text message indicating there is a problem with your debit card, do not respond to it.  Messages such as “Sovereign Bank Alert. Debit card locked. Call 650.200.4041” have been received by many in our area.

THIS IS A SCAM being utilized to get debit card numbers and personal identification numbers from people so that criminals can get unauthorized access to your account.  The name of the bank has been changing.  Calls to the number have yielded indications that it is Sovereign Bank one day and Sun Trust Bank the next day.

The 650 area code is in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in California.

Banks do not contact their customers in this manner.  Please do not give anyone your bank account information over the phone, or via text message.  Thank you.

Recovered Stolen Property: Please help identify if you are the owner

In mid-November 2011, the Bethlehem Police Department was called to at Nitschmann Middle School in West Bethlehem on report that a large amount of possibly stolen property was found in a storage shed.  Since that time, we have been able to determine the ownership of some of the property and discovered that much of it had been stolen from vehicles.  We are now attempting to locate the owners of the remaining property.  Please see the photographs below and contact Detectiver Moses Miller at 610.997.7674 or at if you can identify any of this property.  Thank you for your assistance.

ARRESTED: Sexual Assault Suspect Brian K. Tevald

          On 10-2-2011, Bethlehem Police responded to Lehigh Valley HospitalCenter – Muhlenberg, on a report of a sexual assault of a 16 year old female juvenile, while she was at a college residence with a family member, at 437 Montclair Ave., in the City of Bethlehem, Northampton County.
On Friday, December 16, 2011, as the result of this criminal investigation, Detective Thomas Galloway, Bethlehem Police Special Victims Unit, arrested BRIAN K. TEVALD, age 20, of 437 Montclair Ave, Bethlehem, Pa. 18015. TEVALD was charged with Rape (Felony 1 grade), Aggravated Indecent Assault (Felony 2 grade), Indecent Assault, and Corruption of Minors.
BRIAN K. TEVALD was arraigned before Northampton County Judge Joseph Barner on the above charges. Bail was set at $25,000.00.
            For additional information, please refer to the criminal complaint and affidavit which are on file at Judge Barner’s Office.

Patrick Ytsma Ride of Respect

Please join us in a ride of Respect for Patrick Ytsma
Thursday December 22nd, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
If you are a cycling advocate, a casual cyclist, or have ever liked to ride a bike, please consider coming out to the Patrick Ytsma Ride of Respect to honor Patrick and his dedication to Bicycling Heaven in Bethlehem. His contributions cannot be overstated and was a true advocate for riding the right way.

Bethlehem Crime Mapping available to the public

Real Crime Mapping is available to anyone in Bethlehem
          In order to further enhance our community oriented policing efforts, the City of Bethlehem Police Department has partnered with The Omega Group in San Diego, CA to provide the service of Crime Mapping to all citizens.  Data transparency and a well informed public have always been essential elements in Bethlehem’s fight against crime. 
          This powerful tool enables anyone with internet access to get real, up to date crime statistics.  Citizens are also able to sign up and receive Crime Alerts to let them know when a crime occurs within a predefined distance of an address.  For example, you may enter your home or business address, then select a distance (from 500 feet to 2 miles), and then select from any or all of a list of 15 different types of crimes.  When any of the selected crimes occurs within the defined distance of the address you selected, you will receive an e-mail with a detailed report telling you exactly what crimes occurred and where they happened.
          This solution represents a new hybrid in mapping technology which utilizes both Google Maps and ESRI’s advanced geographic engine.  These two key ingredients are combined to serve the public accurate and timely data in the form of maps and reports.  Crime data is extracted on a regular basis from the department’s records system so the the information being viewed through a Web browser is always up to date.
          Users have numerous options such as showing clusters of crime activity, analyzing patterns within a specific radius of any location, determining the distance to any crime from their address, using a terrain view which outline topography and producing detailed reports.  By encouraging more self reliance within the community and further improving overall communications, will benefit Bethlehem and its citizens.
          Bethlehem’s Crime Mapping can be accessed from the police department’s homepage, or a free app for the iPhone can be downloaded here, so you can take with you wherever you go.

Bethlehem Police Congratulates Sergeant Bill Kissner on his Retirement

09 December 2011
Bethlehem, PA

          Sergeant William Kissner, Badge #242, worked his last day serving the citizens of Bethlehem.  Bill began working as a Bethlehem Police Officer in February 1991 and has served in many roles within the department in his nearly 21-year career.  In addition to working as a patrol officer, Bill served as a Criminal Investigator, Bicycle Officer and Instructor in the Community Services Division, Emergency Response Team operator, Crime Prevention Officer, DARE Officer, Detective/Sergeant of Vice/Special Operations, Northampton County Drug Task Force Regional Supervisor and Patrol Sergeant. 
          Bill’s time in Bethlehem was filled with honor and distinction and he made his mark upon the community and within the Department.  During Bill’s tenure as the Vice/Special Operations supervisor, he oversaw Operation Sunset, the largest criminal enterprise investigation in the history of the Bethlehem Police Department which resulted in the arrest and sucessful conviction of 35 Latin King Gang members.  If that was not enough, Bill also served the Fraternal Order of Police Star Lodge #20 as a contract negotiator for the majority of his career.
          Bill’s smile will be missed by his brothers and sisters in blue, but we wish him all of the best in his new career.  Sergeant Kissner will continue his service to the community as a Magisterial District Judge in Carbon County District Court #56-3-02.  Bill won the election for this position by besting his next closest opponent by more than a 4:1 margin.  Click here for more information on his election victory. 

          Thank you, Bill, for your years of hard work, service and dedication to the community of Bethlehem.  We are all a little better because of the differences you made.  Congratulations, best wishes and thank you!

Occupy Bethlehem Personal Property Return

Members of Occupy Bethlehem can pick up their personal property on Monday December 12th or Tuesday December 13th between the hours of 9am and 11am.  The property is being housed in an indoor location at the City of Bethlehem Yardwaste Facility, located at the intersection of Schoenersville Road and Eaton Avenue (across from Martin Tower).  Here is a link to the webpage for more information about the location.  The pallets have not been destroyed and may also be picked up at this time.  We are requesting that as many people as possible arrange to come to reclaim their property so that this can be done in an efficient manner.
Here is a link to a Google map of the area:
Members of the Police and Parks and Recreation Departments will be on-site to assist with the return of all of the personal property.  Thank you.

Occupy Bethlehem Press Release

Press Release – Occupy Bethlehem


On 12/8/2011 at approximately 12:05 a.m. members of the City of Bethlehem Police Department, in cooperation with personnel from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, disassembled and removed the structures and other debris that has become known as the Occupy Bethlehem encampment.

This clean-up event occurred over one (1) month after Occupy Bethlehem were advised they needed to obtain a permit for their activity as they were relocating to the area next to the library, and almost a week after they were provided written notification reminding them they were in violation of ordinances.

Although the City has been very patient with the members of this organization, they have knowingly and deliberately decided to continue ignoring any and all requests from the City for them to adhere to our ordinances. These requests have been clearly communicated verbally and in writing.

All three (3) people who were present during this clean-up process gathered some personal belongings and left the area.

Property that appeared to be personal in nature such as tents and their contents was transported to an indoor storage facility. Arrangements will be made for the release of the unattended property to the owners.

It has been made clear to Occupy Bethlehem members that the City has no intention of prohibiting free speech. The erecting of tents and semi-permanent structures on public property is not permissible without first obtaining a permit.