BETHLEHEM, Pa. | A couple accused in a hours-long purse-snatching spree in Allentown now faces charges for a series of robberies in Bethlehem.
Evlashawn V. Lindo, 27, and Darius L. Primer, 29, face robbery, receiving stolen property and related charges in connection with a series of thefts between Nov. 11 and 17. Bethlehem police filed charges against the two last week after they were arrested by Allentown police.
Bethlehem police report the alleged robberies and thefts took place in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of West Fourth Street, the 300 block of South New Street, the first block of Wind Creek Boulevard and at a Bethlehem Township credit union, where Lindo is accused of cashing a check allegedly stolen by Primer.
A previous criminal complaint filed by Allentown police referred to Lindo and Primer as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Authorities said the first theft was reported shortly before 6:30 a.m. Nov. 11, when a purse was stolen from inside a South New Street business, according to the criminal complaint. The victim provided an officer with a description of the alleged thief.
Minutes after the theft was reported, a different officer responded to northbound Route 378 for a report of a disabled vehicle. Police later reviewed the officer’s body camera footage, and the driver, identified as Primer, matched the description of that morning’s theft suspect, according to records.
Investigators followed up with the first victim, who reported that someone the day after the theft cashed a personal check that was in her purse. Police said the $3,500 check was made out to Lindo, and video surveillance captured a woman with a similar body type as Lindo cashing the check.
A lengthy criminal complaint lays out a series of thefts investigators allege the pair committed, including shoving an elderly woman to the ground in the 100 block of West Fourth Street and pulling on her purse until the strap broke. The victim suffered a shoulder injury, and a witness described a man running from the area.
On Nov. 16, another victim reported that a woman tried unsuccessfully to pull her from her car outside a pharmacy in the 300 block of West Fourth Street.
Just before 7 a.m. Nov. 17, police responded to a business in the 200 block of West Fourth Street for a report of a purse theft. The victim reported that a woman walked into the business and was greeted by customers before allegedly snatching a purse off a shelf and running to a nearby dark Nissan SUV.
The victim and a witness gave chase and managed to recover her purse, but not before the driver punched the victim several times in the face. The alleged purse thief did manage to steal the victim’s cell phone, according to authorities.
Hours later, Bethlehem police learned that Allentown police responded to a series of purse snatchings that also involved a dark Nissan SUV.
Police said a search of the SUV allegedly turned up several purses, cell phone, identification cards and bank cards in neither Lindo, nor Primer’s names. Authorities said they also found two lottery tickets described by one of the victims and an $800 check made out to Lindo. The person who wrote the check told investigators that he had written it out to one of the robbery victims.
During an interview with police, Lindo allegedly admitted cashing the $3,500 check and altering the $800 check to appear that it was written to her. Investigators allege she also admitted to committing the Bethlehem and Allentown robberies and thefts with Primer.
The day after authorities arrested Lindo and Primer, Bethlehem police took a report of an attempted purse snatching Nov. 17 at the Wind Creek Casino parking deck. The victim told police that a woman struggled to take her purse until her assailant was called back to a dark, Nissan SUV. The attempted robbery took place about 5:15 a.m., less than two hours before the purse theft in the 200 block of West Fourth Street. Surveillance video reportedly shows someone wearing the same clothing in the two thefts.
Bethlehem police charged Lindo with one count each of robbery and access device fraud, three counts of receiving stolen property and two counts each of attempted robbery and harassment. District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez arraigned her Monday morning, setting bail at $200,000 with a 10 percent cash option if approved by pre-trial services.
Primer, meanwhile, faces three counts of robbery, two counts of receiving stolen property and single counts of simple assault, theft, harassment and driving without a license. He was arraigned Monday with bail set at $500,000.
Both remain in custody awaiting preliminary hearings in Lehigh and Northampton counties.