Lehigh Valley

Police allege pair burglarize house, scrap appliances

WIND GAP, Pa. - Police allege that a Slate Belt woman who said she didn't know anything about the burglary at a neighboring house was caught on video scrapping the stolen appliances.

Slate Belt Regional police were dispatched on Aug. 9 to an empty home in the first block of West Eighth Street in Wind Gap to investigate a burglary. Police said the front door was forced open, and the property manager said a white refrigerator, stove and air conditioner were taken, according to court records.

The appliances were worth between $650 and $800.

Police spoke with next-door neighbor, Elizabeth Lytle, who told officers that she had neither seen anyone in the house, nor knew anything about the burglary, according to records.

Based on similar theft investigations, police paid a visit to the nearby RPM Metals to inquire about any recent appliances having been scrapped for cash. Video surveillance from Aug. 9 allegedly showed a minivan pull into the scrap yard with a white refrigerator hanging out the back. Employees identified the driver as Lytle and her passenger as Johnathon Stevens, both regular customers.

They received $13 for the items they dropped off.

Police said they later identified the driver and passenger of the minivan as Lytle and Stevens.

Authorities charged Lytle with three misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property. District Judge Nicholas Englesson arraigned the 25-year-old Aug. 15, setting bail at $5,000. Lytle failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 29.

The 30-year-old Stevens, meanwhile, was arraigned Aug. 25 by District Judge Alan Mege on three misdemeanor counts of theft and a felony count of burglary. Bail in his case was set at $50,000. He too remains in county prison, awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 6.

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