Important Update Regarding Fox Attack in West Bethlehem

During the day on Saturday May 25 Bethlehem Police Officers were called to the area Central Blvd and then Oak Hollow Apartments on a report of a fox that had attacked two people.  After the first attack, officers were unsuccessful in destroying the fox.  Officers were able to locate and destroy the animal after the second attack where it had bit a male who was out walking his dog as well as attacked a police vehicle.  See complete story here

The fox was sent to the Pa Dept of Health where it was tested for the rabies virus.  We have been notified by our Health Department that the fox in question has tested positive for rabies.

Anyone who has come into contact with the fox is encouraged to seek immediate medical attention.

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West Bethlehem Wildlife Caution

Bethlehem, PA



Shortly before 8:00 AM on Saturday May 25th, a male was attacked by a fox in the vicinity of W. Market Street and Central Blvd in West Bethlehem.  The male was not injured and was able to escape and call police.  Bethlehem Police officers responded, located the animal, but were unsuccessful in their attempt to put the fox down.

Later in the day, just before 1:00 pm, Bethlehem Police officers were called to the area of the Oak Hollow Apartments on a report that a male was attacked and bitten by a fox while walking his dog.  The male was able to escape the area and transported himself to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Muhlenberg for treatment.

Bethlehem Police Officers and our Animal Control officer responded to the area to attempt to locate the animal.  Officers observed a fox attack and begin to bite at one of our police vehicles.  Due to the aggressive behavior of the fox, the Animal Control officer destroyed it.  The fox was transported to the PA Department of Health where it will be tested for disease.

The Bethlehem Police would like to remind anyone to be alert for animals behaving in an unusual manner and especially to report any instances of aggressive behavior. We can be contacted 24-hours a day at our non-emergency number of 610.865.7187.  Store this number in your cell phone so you always have it available.  Citizens may also download our free smartphone app for iPhone and Android.  Citizens are reminded to always report crimes and suspicious activity to our Communications Center via phone, rather than posting on social media.  While we interact with the public in many ways, a phone call will always be answered promptly.

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Hit and Run Vehicle Sought

We are looking to identify the vehicle and driver involved in a hit and run crash that occurred sometime overnight, 5/18-5/19, 2013 in the 1800 block of Center St.  The offending vehicle is white, possibly a newer model Mercedes Benz E class.  The vehicle should have significant right side damage with a possibility of blue transfer paint on it.  If anyone believes they have seen this vehicle, they are encouraged to call Ofc. Hackett at 610-997-7641.

Image is not the actual vehicle

Image is of a white 2011 E Class Mercedes Benz.  Not the actual vehicle

Bethlehem Police Hold Annual Memorial Service and Award Ceremony

On May 17, 2013 the City of Bethlehem Police Department held its annual Police Memorial Service along with an Award Ceremony.  The Memorial Service is to remember the past officers who have laid down their lives as well as those officers throughout the United States that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the last year.  We also paid respect to those officers who have passed away in the past year.  This years service was held at the Bethlehem Police Department Memorial located at the North End of the Fany Bridge.

Bethlehem Police Memorial

Bethlehem Police Memorial

This years memorial was attended by over 100 family and friends, including a large contingent of the Blue Knights who came out to pay their respects to the fallen and show their support to those officers on the job.

Blue Knights Procession Across the Fahy Bridge

Blue Knights Procession Across the Fahy Bridge

The following link is to a synopsis of the many Letters of Commendation that were earned throughout the past year.

Congratulations to the many officers of the Bethlehem Police Department as well as the Bethlehem Fire Department, Bethlehem Emergency Medical Service Paramedics, Bethlehem E-911 Dispatchers, Pennsylvania State Police, Hellertown Police Department, Lehigh County Auto Theft Task Force, and the many civilains that were recognized for their actions over the past year.


Again, we would like to thank the many friends and family members that not only attended the service today, but support us on a daily basis while we do our best to protect this great City of Bethlehem.

BPD Proudly Promotes Two

During the Police Memorial Ceremony on May 17, 2013 the City of Bethlehem Police Department had the privilege of promoting two of our officers, Robert Toronzi and Christopher Vasvari, to the rank of Sergeant.

Detective Robert Toronzi was promoted to the rank of Detective/Sergeant.

(L-R) Chief Schiffer, Mayor Callahan, Det/Sgt Toronzi, Deputy Chief Finnerty

(L-R) Chief Schiffer, Mayor Callahan, Det/Sgt Toronzi, Deputy Chief Finnerty

Rob joined our ranks in 1996 after spending several years as a police officer with the Boynton Beach Police Department in Florida.

While with the City of Bethlehem Police Department, he has held assignments as a Patrol Officer for several years, and also performed other duties such as being a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, as well as being a member of our Department’s Emergency Response Team.

In 2004 Detective Toronzi was assigned to our Criminal Investigations Division. In addition to his regular responsibilities as a Detective, Rob is a member of the Lehigh County Computer Crimes Task Force, which is to say he is one of our go-to guys when computers, cell phones, or other technological devices need to be forensically analyzed.

Since March of this year, Rob has been working as an Acting Detective Sergeant in our Criminal Investigations Division.

Detective Christopher Vasvari was hired by our Department in February of 1996.

(L-R) Chief Schiffer, Mayor Callahan, Sgt Vasvari, Deputy Chief Finnerty

(L-R) Chief Schiffer, Mayor Callahan, Sgt Vasvari, Deputy Chief Finnerty

After his field training he spent the next three years working with our night shift platoon.

In 1999 Chris was assigned to or Special Operations Unit where he conducted hundreds of drug investigations and made hundreds undercover drug purchases.

In addition to his duties as a Detective with us, he was also a member of the FBI’s Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, as well as the Drug Task Forces in both Northampton and LehighCounties.

Chris has offered testimony as an expert witness in the field of drug trafficking and drug investigations.

In April, Chris was assigned as an Acting Sergeant on 3rd Plt, where he is currently assigned.

Congratulations to both!

Hit and Run Driver Sought

We are looking to identify the individual and vehicle that was involved in a hit and run crash on Center St @ Market St.  The crash occurred on 5/14/13 at 2:48 pm.  The suspect vehicle was a tan pick up truck, identified as some type of business vehicle with decals of a house with a green roof on both sides.  The operator was identified as a black or dark skinned hispanic male, approximately 5’10”.  He was wearing a tan polo shirt with the same logo as the vehicle on it.  After the crash the vehicle ended up fleeing south on Center St.  The suspect vehicle should have damage on the driver side rear quarter panel.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the City of Bethlehem Police Department Ofc Sabol at 610-865-7187, or hit and run Ofc. Hackett at  610-997-7641.

Help Identify This Individual

Bon Ton

We are looking for help in identifying the individual in the photo above.  The male had entered the Bon Ton, 2425 Schoenersville Rd, took a black garbage bag out and filled it with approximately 50 IZOD shirts.  The individual then fled the store.  Total value of the loss is $1399.00.  Anyone who recognized the individual in the photo, please contact Ofc. Zarzecki at 610-865-7187.

BPD Takes Delivery of New Ceremonial Rifles



The City of Bethlehem Police Department is proud to announce that we have taken delivery of 10 Springfield Armory M1 Garand Ceremonial Rifles.



The same rifle that was used by Allied Forces to win WWII has been dusted off and cleaned up for use as a ceremonial rifle.  It has been delivered to us through the Civilian Marksmanship Program as well as the TACOM Life Cycle program through the Department of Defense.  These rifles were free of charge through this program, which is designed to place them with ceremonial units to preserve these pieces of history.

Pair Arrested Following Morning Search Warrant



On May 14, 2013 shortly after 0600 hours, a search warrant was served at 1135 ½ E. 3rd  St in the City of Bethlehem.  The warrant was served by the City of Bethlehem Police Department’s Special Operations Unit along with assistance from the Department’s Emergency Response Team.  The search warrant was in regards to an ongoing investigation into the sale of illegal narcotics.  A male, identified as Ramon Headley, 29 years old, as well as a female, identified as Desiree Bostic, 24 years old were taken into custody.  An amount of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin as well as a firearm and drug paraphernalia were located.

Desiree Bostic

Desiree Bostic

Ramon Headley

Ramon Headley

Headley is being charged with 4 counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute, 1 count of Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, 1 count of Drug Paraphernalia, 1 count of Persons not to Possess a Firearm, and 1 count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Bostic is being charged with 4 counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute, 1 count of Drug Paraphernalia, and 1 count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Both were arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Nancy Matos-Gonzalez.  Bail for Bostic was $125,000 while bail for Headley was $250,000.  Both were committed to Northampton County Prison.

2013 Police Memorial Service


The Bethlehem Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police Star Lodge #20 proudly announce the annual Memorial and Award Ceremony to be held this Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 7 pm. The location for the event is the Bethlehem Police Memorial wall at the north end of the Fahy Bridge.  Each year, this event is held during National Police Week to honor and remember those officers who gave their lives in the performance of their duty.  We also take this opportunity to publicly recognize the many outstanding achievements of police officers, other public safety personnel serving our community, as well as citizens who stepped up and made a difference. This year’s event will also include the promotion of two Officers to the rank of Sergeant.  This event is open to anyone.  Please consider joining us as we celebrate and honor law enforcement officers from Bethlehem and beyond.

The service will begin at 7 pm with a promotion ceremony.  Detective Robert Toronzi will be promoted to Detective/Sergeant and Detective Christopher Vasvari will be promoted to Sergeant.  Immediately following the promotion will be an awards presentation recognizing officer’s exceptional performance throughout the year.  Following the promotion and awards presentation we will recognize each of the six Bethlehem police officers who lost their lives while serving our community. We also recognize officers who have retired from our department and have passed away during the past year.

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