A Bethlehem man and woman drove around the roads and neighborhoods of Bushkill Township to steal at least 15 batteries from parked recreational vehicles, police said.
The motivation: Each battery would fetch $12 from a scrap yard in Whitehall Township or Wind Gap—enough to buy a bag of heroin, according to a recorded confession from one of the defendants, police said.
Charged in the thefts were Carl E. Klinger, 37, and Felicia M. Davies, 24, both of 216 W. Greenwich St., Bethlehem, just north of the Moravian College campus.
It was Davies who provided police with the couple’s methods and reasoning, according to the affidavits of probable cause.
The couple was caught Friday after Bushkill Township police responded to a home on Kromer Road, north of Jacobsburg State Park, where a resident reported seeing a woman steal the battery from a recreational vehicle parked in the driveway, the affidavit said.
The witness described a man and woman in a black Mazda 626 driving away from the theft, police said. The vehicle was later spotted by Nazareth police, which pursued and ultimately apprehended the couple after they abandoned the car and tried to run away, police said.
A police search of the car turned up five RV batteries, a box containing heroin, burned silver spoons and hypodermic needles, and numerous other items, the affidavit said.
While Davies cooperated with the police investigation, Klinger denied involvement and threatened one of the arresting officers at one point warning “not to manhandle me, because I will not be in prison forever, that is a promise,” according to the arrest record.
Davies told police that the couple had stolen more than 100 RV batteries over the previous month or so in Bushkill and Moore townships, the affidavit said. Police said they were able to confirm that 15 batteries—each valued at about $125—had been stolen from Bushkill Township residents.
Davies said Klinger would drive and she would get out and make the thefts, according to the affidavit. She told police they targeted RVs because the batteries are located at the front of the vehicle in a battery box that was usually fastened with a strap that could be cut.
Davies and Klinger were charged with 15 counts each of theft, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy. Klinger was also charged with possessing the instruments of a crime, terroristic threats, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both were arraigned before on-duty District Judge Diane Marakovits of Northampton and committed to Northampton County Prison. Klinger’s bail was set at $10,000, while Davies’ bail was set at $7.500.