Lehigh Valley

Police: Man steals student's sandals, threatens to fight store clerk

He allegedly threw shopping baskets at clerk

A Lehigh County man is facing robbery and harassment charges for allegedly robbing someone of $5 and their sandals and then picking a fight a few weeks later with a store clerk.

Catasauqua police charged Joshua Caraballo with robbery, theft and receiving stolen property in connection to an alleged theft that occurred Sept. 1, 2016, in the borough. Allentown police, meanwhile, charged him with disorderly conduct and harassment following a dust up with a Dollar General clerk four weeks later.

District Judge Michael Pochron arraigned the 21-year-old over the weekend, setting his bail at a combined $22,250. It’s not clear from court records why there was such a delay in his arrest.

Catasauqua police were dispatched to the 700 block of Second Street shortly after 3 p.m. Sept. 1 to investigate a robbery. The victim’s mother reported that two men approached her son as he walked home from the school bus stop.

They knocked him to the ground and went through his pockets, stealing $5, according to court records. They also went through his school bag, stealing the $58 Air Jordan slides off his feet after failing to find anything of value in the bag, according to records.

Police arrested Cody Benner the next day. He said Caraballo was the “main aggressor,” and that he had nothing to do with the robbery. Benner pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor count of simple assault and was sentenced to one year probation. In exchange, prosecutors withdrew theft and receiving stolen property charges.

On Sept. 28, Caraballo allegedly walked into the Dollar General at 2106 Union Blvd. and tried to start a fight. He allegedly approached the clerk behind the front counter, yelling and screaming.

He then walked behind counter and threw two shopping baskets at the victim, threatening to find him outside the store. Caraballo left after the victim threatened to call police. The incident was captured on store security cameras.

Court records list Whitehall Township and Catasauqua addresses for Caraballo. He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a June 19 preliminary hearing.

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