BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. | Authorities allege a man made the trip from New England to the Lehigh Valley with a phony ID in hand in an effort to steal unemployment benefits.
Bethlehem Township police were dispatched to the UPS facility at 2301 Highland Ave. shortly before 1 p.m. April 9 for a reported attempted theft-in-progress. An employee told an officer that a man later identified as Kelvin Astacio Castro was using what appeared to be a fraudulent Pennsylvania driver’s license, according to the criminal complaint.
The ID someone else’s name and information but Astacio Castro’s photo, according to police. Authorities said he was trying to pick up a package containing a Pennsylvania Department of Treasury payment card. Police said they fielded numerous, similar theft reports for payment cards, which have been loaded with at least $10,000 from the state.
In December, Bethlehem Township police reported that the department had been investigating a rash of such thefts with the accused applying for benefits used stolen identities. And the department arrested four more people last month for allegedly trying to steal benefits cards.
Authorities charged Astacio Castro, of Providence, R.I., with single felony counts of forgery, attempted theft and access device fraud and a single misdemeanor count of possessing an instrument of a crime. District Judge Roy Manwaring arraigned the 22-year-old setting bail at $10,000 with a 10 percent cash option.
Astacio Castro was released from custody on Monday after someone with a Rhode Island address posted $1,000 cash bail on his behalf.