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Alleged Car Thief Arrested Outside L. Saucon Liquor Store

Joshua Todora, 29, of Salisbury Township, was arrested outside a Lower Saucon Township liquor store Monday after allegedly stealing a car in Bethlehem Township. He has been charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, which is a level one felony.

By Jack Tobias

In a case that covers several geographical bases in the Lehigh Valley, a Salisbury Township man was arrested in Lower Saucon Township after police found him asleep at the wheel and charged him with stealing a car outside a Bethlehem Township gas station/convenience store.

Court records say Joshua Todora, 29, was taken into custody early Monday outside the Wine & Spirits store on Route 412. He is accused of stealing a 2003 yellow Dodge Neon about five hours earlier outside a Sunoco gas station/convenience store.

The female driver of the car left the keys in the ignition with the car running and went into the store to buy a sandwich around 9 p.m. Sunday. When she came out, the car was gone, the records say.

Store surveillance video showed a man later identified as Todora get into the car and drive off, going east on Easton Avenue, according to the records.

Police put out an all-points bulletin, and around 2:05 a.m., Lower Saucon Officer James Connell spotted the Neon outside the Wine & Spirits store, which is part of the Creekside Market Place shopping center at 1848 Leithsville Road.

The car was running but locked, the radio was playing and the driver—later identified as Todora—was asleep at the wheel, Connell wrote in a criminal complaint. The complaint also says:

The officer recognized clothing that was described in the all-points bulletin—a dark hooded sweatshirt, a black overcoat with two white stripes across the chest and rear shoulders, and a black duffel bag. Todora was wearing the sweatshirt, and the coat and duffel bag were on the passenger seat.

Police needed to use a lock-out tool to get the car open. While this went on, Todora woke up and tried to drive away. But Connell broke a car window and removed Todora from the vehicle.

Todora's address is 46 Birch Drive in Salisbury Township, according to online Lehigh County property records.

Todora was charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, which is a level one felony. He also was charged with unauthorized use of automobiles and other vehicles, drivers required to be licensed and receiving stolen property.

He was arraigned at 5:10 a.m. Monday by District Judge Robert Hawke of Lehigh Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Photo: The Wine & Spirits store in the Creekside Marketplace shopping center on Rt. 412 in Lower Saucon Township (Patch file photo)

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