Storm Grate Thief Arrested

Grate Theft Locations

Bethlehem, PA

11-29-12

Since early November 2012, heavy metal storm grates have disappeared from various street locations throughout the City of Bethlehem in both Northampton and Lehigh Counties. Approximately 60 of these grates were stolen. These thefts left open holes along sidewalks and in streets which posed a serious safety hazard to pedestrians and vehicles traveling those routes.

 

The replacement value of these grates is approx. $250.00 a piece. The total cost to City taxpayers for the grates is approx. $15,000.00. This figures does not include labor costs that the City incurred when Streets Department workers had to be called out after hours to cover the large holes left in the streets. The $15,000 estimate is only an estimate at this time, and is expected to rise when an itemized calculation is made by the City for Court.  

As a result of cooperation from Blinderman and Sons Scrap Yard in Hellertown, suspects were developed. The ongoing investigation by City Detectives resulted in the recovery of several stolen storm grates and video surveillance evidence against the individuals responsible.

On Thursday, November 29, 2012 at approx. 2:00 PM, ANTHONY GUY DEVICARIS, age 25, of 292 Water Lilly Court, Allentown, Pa. 18104, was taken into custody by Bethlehem Police without incident. 

Anthony Guy DEVICARIS

ANTHONY GUY DEVICARIS will be charged with (1) Count of Theft-Felony grade, (1) Count of Receiving Stolen Property-Felony grade, and (60) counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person. 

ANTHONY GUY DEVICARIS was arraigned before Northampton County Judge Nancy Matos on the above charges. Bail was set at $35,000.00 and he was committed to Northampton County Prison.

Missing: 10 y/o Black Female

Bethlehem, PA

UPDATE: This missing girl has been found and returned safely to her home.

Jerkera Battle

A ten year old girl from south Bethlehem has been missing for two days.  We were contacted today by a relative of the girl who reported that the girl left her residence of 432 Carlton Avenue on Saturday November 24th and has not yet returned.  She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and jeans, she has black hair and brown eyes.

Her name is Jerkera Battle and she is 4’5″ tall.  Jerkera has been known to frequent the Yosko Park area.  Officers have been canvassing the area and speaking to as many people as possible, with no luck. 

If you see Jerkera or have any information about her, please contact Bethlehem Police at 610.865.7187.

Help, Our Storm Grates Are Being Stolen!

Bethlehem, PA

Bethlehem Police are asking for your help in identifying the persons responsible for the theft of at least twenty (yes, that’s right) storm grates in the recent days.  Update: As of 11/27/12 we have had thirty-nine (39) storm grates stolen).

These storm grates weigh well over one hundred pounds each and have been stolen between 3:00 PM and 7:00 AM.  These grates are valued at around $250 each and are usually stolen to be sold for scrap, or to weigh down items being sold for scrap so that the seller gets more money in return.

Anyone who may have any information, please contact the Detective Fulmer at 610.997.7682 or Detective Lieutenant DiLuzio at 610.865.7672.  If you see anyone tampering with a storm grate (or any City property) please call 9-1-1 immediately.  It is best to be a good witness and get the description of the people involved, car make/model/color/license plate, and their direction of travel.

Also, please be careful when walking in case someone has taken a storm grate and we have not replaced it or covered the hole.

Missing: 6 y/o White Female

Bethlehem, PA

UPDATE: MISSING YOUTH HAS BEEN FOUND BY POLICE UNHARMED

Just an update on the missing girl: When Bethlehem Police learned of this missing juvenile, all available resources were mobilized in the area and officers began a search of the areass that she is known to frequent, an area search spreading outward from her residence and a door to door search of her neighborhood.  We would like to thank the Bethlehem Fire Department and Bethlehem EMS for coming to the aid of this girl by immediately assisting police in this search.  Fortunately, this girl was located unharmed and in a relatively short period of time.  We would like to thank everyone who shared this information in an effort to help return this girl to her home.  Thank you for being such great partners.

Missing from 49 W. Spruce Street, Bethlehem, PA:

Kayla Gangewere

  • Name: Kayla Gangewere
  • 6 y/o white female, 60 lbs.
  • DOB 7/20/06
  • Brown hair and eyes
  • Clothing:
    • Brown GAP sweatshirt
    • Grey sweatpants
    • Black boots (one lights up)

She has been missing since 4 PM. Known to frequent the area of the Main Street Commons.

If seen, call 9-1-1 immedaitely.

City Services Busy During Lehigh/Lafayette – Despite an Away Game

First, congratulations Lehigh University on the fifth straight win over rival Lafayette in the 148th matchup in nation’s oldest football rivalry.  Your come-from-behind win showed great ability and fortitude as you struggled past your worthy opponent.  It is unfortunate that the NCAA ended a brilliant season too early by not extending a playoff bid to you.

Now, for the off the field critique.  Continue reading

Fahy Bridge Closures Coming Soon

Bethlehem, PA

UPDATE: PennDOT reports the pedestrian walkway will remain open during the hours of bridge closure.

A consulting company has been hired by PennDOT to perform survey work on the Fahy Bridge.  This work is being done for the rehabilitation of the superstructure and for repairs to the substructure.

 

To complete the work, the bridge will need to be closed as follows:

  • Sunday night (11/18) 11:00 PM until 4:00 AM Monday morning
  • Monday night (11/19) 11:00 PM until 4:00 AM Tuesday morning
  • Tuesday night (11/20) 11:00 PM until 4:00 AM Wednesday morning

In the event of inclement weather, the work may occur during the week of November 26th.

A full detour will be posted utilizing SR 378 and the Hill-to-Hill Bridge.  Expect delays along this route due to the increased traffic.

Fahy Bridge Detour

Day of Remembrance: Bethlehem Officer Charles Fenton shot and killed 85 years ago

Bethlehem, PA

Bethlehem Police Officer Charles Fenton
EOW 14 November 1927

On November 12th, 1927 Officer Charles Fenton was shot on Columbia Street on Bethlehem’s South Side as he attempted to arrest several robbery suspects.  Officer Fenton was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two days later on 14 November 1927, becoming the third Bethlehem Police Officer to lose his life in the line of duty.  Patrolman Fenton had served with the Bethlehem Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, parents and nine siblings.

His death came in the midst of a lawless South Side riddled with speakeasies, brothels and gambling houses and eventually brought down a Mayor. Continue reading

Reminder of Good Things Going on in Bethlehem This Weekend

Bethlehem, PA

Liberty / Freedom Football Game

On  Saturday, 3 November 2012, the Class of 2013 will host the annual tailgating events prior to the football game. Set up for the event begins at 8:00 AM; tailgating begins at 10:00 AM and concludes by 12:00 PM; cleanup will then begin in preparation for the 1:00 PM start of the football game.

BASD Staff will post the tailgating area with “No Parking – SAT” signs on Friday, 2 November 2012, at the end of the school day.

At 7:00 AM Saturday, 3 November 2012, BPD Operations will erect the barricades on Grenadier Blvd at Locust Street; on Laurel Street just west of the parking lot entrance; and on Grenadier Blvd at Fairview Street to reduce the opening and deter motorists from entering Grenadier Blvd from Fairview Street.

Barricades will be removed by Operations Division officers/ BASD personnel by the end of the football game.  BASD personnel and the Class of 2013 will clean up Grenadier Blvd immediately following the tailgating events and the football game. BASD personnel will ensure all vehicles are parked properly before the start of the game.    

Halloween 5K Run

On Sunday, 4 November 2012, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association will sponsor the third annual Halloween 5K Run to be held immediately preceding the City’s Halloween Parade. Registration for the 5K will be from 10:30 AM -12:30 PM on Walnut Street and is limited to 400 participants. Costumes will be judged at the City’s Bandshell on Main Streetat 12:30  PM; the 5K Run starts at 1:00 PM. After the costumes are judges, participants will move to Main Street and Market Streets for the start of the Run.

Halloween Parade

The Annual Halloween Parade will be held Sunday Novemebr 4th at 2:00 PM.

Parade participants will stage on West Broad Street and the Avenues between Eighth

& Sixteenth Avenue and Market & North Streets. 

 Parade route will be east on Broad Street starting at Eighth Avenue to Main Street,

south on Main Street to Spring Street and disband at the DanielE.Rice Plaza. Reviewing

stand will be located on Main Street, south of Walnut Street.

Starting at 12:45 PM, Broad Street between Eighth Avenue and Sixteenth Avenue will be closed to traffic. Once the Parade begins, Broad Street from Eighth Avenue to Main Street, and Main Street, from Broad to Spring Street, will be closed to traffic.

At 1215 hours, Special Services / Highway officers Due to the Main Street construction will erect the barricades at Main & Hotel Bethlehem, Main St. Ramp, Spring Street & Main Street and Broad & Main Streets Closing Main Street to allow for set up of the Start/ Finish Line Main Street will stay closed until the Parade is over.

Parking will be restricted on the following streets between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM:

  • Broad Street – Main Street to Sixteenth Avenue – both sides
  • Main Street – Broad Street to Spring Street – both sides
  • Sixteenth Avenue – Restrict west side only between Broad & Schaffer Streets;
    • both sides south Schaffer to Market Street;
    • both sides north from Broad Street north to North Street 

 NOTE:  Parking is permitted for church services until 1:00 PM.

Message from Mayor Callahan – 11/2/12

Traffic Patterns returning to normal in Bethlehem

Bethlehem, Pa. (November 2, 2012)

As of 9:30 a.m. City of Bethlehem traffic signalization is returning to normal.  The City has 108 intersections powered up, 16 do not have electricity and 8 out of those 16 are powered by City generators.  The Public Works staff and Police department have stayed on top of the traffic situation and continually shifted generators to maximize the number of traffic lights would be energized.  At one point, 60 traffic signals were not working following the storm. 

As of 3:30 yesterday afternoon there remained 19 partial road closures due to downed wires or downed trees and wires.  Thos 19 road closures required assistance from PPL before any work could be completed.  Center Street and Pennsylvania Avenue were reopened as of this morning.

The Recycling Center remains without power.  However, the Compost Facility will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.   The extended hours are to allow time for residents to clean up their yards from the debris left by Hurricane Sandy.  It is important that residents do not throw yard waste into the street.  Please take your yard waste to the Compost Center.

The Halloween Parade will go on as schedule this Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Mayor Callahan stated “I want to thank City residents, business owners and visitors for their patience.”  “City employees in every department worked and are working as hard as they can to clean up the City.”  I wanted to ensure that residents had the opportunity to clean up after the storm as well, which is why the City extended the hours at the Compost Facility this weekend.  “With nice weather predicted for the weekend, we thought people might get out on Saturday and clean up their yards, then come downtown on Sunday and enjoy our Halloween parade”, he said.

Generator Theft??

Bethlehem, PA

Photo courtesy of George Takei via Facebook

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the City of Bethlehem deployed generators to key intersections to aid in the flow of traffic after the sweeping power outages.  We wanted to provide the public service of enabling people to move safely through the most heavily traveled areas and to keep the roadways open to get to St. Luke’s Hospital.

When we placed our generators at these intersections, we knew that we would be leaving a hot commodity exposed, so the generators were chained to the light poles.  We didn’t expect what happened next.

We began to receive calls from concerns citizens that people were hanging around the generators looking as if they were going to steal them.  Upon investigation, we learned that no one was looking to steal them, but instead they were charging their cell phones, iPads and other portable devices.  The generators usually have four electrical outlets and we are using one to power the traffic signal.  The remaining outlets were free and were being used by resourceful(?) people to keep their electronics charged.

This raised a good question.  Is that theft? Maybe. But what is the cost?  The generators must be run to power the traffic lights and it arguably does not take any more fuel to attach a small cell phone charger to it.  The decision was simple, let them charge away.  In these times, the cell phone/iPad is one of the only ways to stay in touch with the world when the power fails.  We even resort to Twitter and Facebook to try to get as much information out the public as possible. Maybe in the future, we should require everyone to follow us on Twitter to get a charge on their device.