Lehigh Valley

Police link men arrested for Allentown car theft to two violent robberies

Pair arrested outside Motel 8 last month

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Authorities suspect that two men arrested last month in connection with a stolen car were involved in two violent robberies in Allentown in February.

Allentown police arrested Koby B. Rivera and William Medina March 12 outside the Super 8 hotel at 1033 Airport Road after spotting the stolen car and setting up surveillance. The two men now face robbery and theft charges.

Medina and Rivera are currently in Lehigh County Jail awaiting preliminary hearings scheduled for next Tuesday.

Court records indicate that the series of events leading to Rivera and Medina’s attempt to outrun police and arrest started on Feb. 8. That’s when the owner of the stolen car reported to police that she left her vehicle running in the 400 block of West Allen Street as she ran into a store. She reported that two men stole her car.

On Feb. 17, Allentown police were dispatched to the 1100 block of Liberty Street to investigate a report of an armed robbery. The victim reported that he was sitting in his car when two armed men approached from either side and demanded money and his belongings, according to records.

The victim reported to police that Medina hit in the head with a handgun, and that the robbers stole his smart watch, his iPhone, about $30 in cash and his wallet. The two fled in the stolen car.

Authorities were dispatched to St. Luke’s Hospital Allentown on Feb. 24 to investigate a second robbery report. The victim told police that he had been walking in the 1500 block of Page Street when he was reportedly attacked by two armed men.

They allegedly stole $50, beer and the victim’s glasses after beating and pistol whipping the man. Video surveillance reportedly shows the two robbers attacking the victim and kicking, punching and pistol whipping him after he fell, according to records.

Authorities allege Medina beat the second victim in the face and head with his handgun, while Rivera kicked and punched the man, who was bleeding "profusely."

Medina also allegedly fired one round at the sidewalk.

Investigators said surveillance video also showed a dark gray sedan in the 1500 block of Page Street that was also seen at the Liberty Street robbery.

On March 14, the stolen car was spotted outside an AutoZone on Airport Road. Shortly before noon, two men approached the car from the Super 8 motel, and authorities moved in to make an arrest.

Authorities allege Rivera ran through the hotel parking lot, throwing the car keys and a loaded rifle. 

Police said Rivera appears to be the same man seen on surveillance video, and that he was wearing the same hooded sweatshirt and shoes seen in the Page Street robbery. Medina, meanwhile, had a ski mask similar to the one worn in the Page Street robbery.

A search of the Super 8 hotel room rented by Medina turned up the Liberty Street robbery victim’s wallet, ID card and other electronics along with the red sweatshirt and black handgun with an extended magazine seen in surveillance footage of the Page Street robbery.

Investigators said witnesses have identified the red hooded sweatshirt and a broken wrist watch dropped at the Page Street robbery as belonging to Medina. Surveillance also allegedly shows the two men following the victim prior to the robbery.

During an interview with police, Rivera allegedly admitted his involvement in both robberies.

Police charged Rivera with four felony counts of robbery along with a felony count of receiving stolen property, two misdemeanor counts of theft and misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of motor vehicle and marijuana possession. Court records show no current address for Rivera or an address in Lancaster.

Medina faces three counts of robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, two firearms charges and a single count of conspiracy, all felonies.

Rivera remains in Lehigh County Jail unable to post $140,000 bail. Medina is in county jail unable to post $250,000 bail.

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