Nazareth man jailed in theft of test-driven car from lot in Laureldale

LAURELDALE, Pa. - A Northampton County man was jailed Friday in the theft of a vehicle from a used car lot in Berks County.

John Pittman Jr. and an unidentified man approached a salesman on the lot of Rich's Auto Sales, 3401 Kutztown Rd., in Laureldale on the morning of April 30, police said.

Pittman told the salesman, who was busy with another customer, that he wanted to test drive a 2008 Pontiac G6 GT, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Pittman was required to produce a valid driver's license, however, he showed only a non-driver's identification card and was issued a dealer tag for the car, police said.

Pittman and the other man drove off the lot at approximately 10:30 a.m., and when they failed to return by noon, the car was reported stolen, according to the court documents.

At approximately the same time, Laureldale officers said they were notified by state police at Schuylkill Haven of the vehicle being spotted at the intersection of Routes 183 and 443 in Wayne Township, Schuylkill County, and the two male occupants stealing the license plate off another vehicle.

The next day, May 1, Laureldale police said they learned the stolen vehicle, valued at $11,000, was located by officers in Canton, Ohio, with a donut tire in place and the license plate removed.

Pittman, 23, of Nazareth, was subsequently charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was jailed Friday on $25,000 bail.

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