Pregnant Woman Charged with Stealing Rental Car
Suspect with 20 prior arrests and "nomadic lifestyle" disappeared with rental car in March.
A woman charged in Bethlehem Township with failing to return a car she rented in late February has at least 20 prior arrests and is nine-months pregnant, according to court records.
But perhaps more noteworthy about the case is township police’s quick work -- after the rental car company spent more than a month making phone calls, hiring a repossession company, sending a certified letter and using a computer search engine in an unsuccessful effort to track down the woman and the black 2011 Chevy Malibu.
The Hertz rental car store at 2220 Emrick Blvd. called police around 1 pm Wednesday. By 10:45pm, Barbara Latisha Druker, 42, had been arraigned by on-duty District Judge Todd Strohe of Bangor.
According to a criminal complaint filed by township Patrolman Shaun Powell:
- A Hertz employee said he rented the Chevy Malibu – valued at $13,505.57 – to Druker on Feb. 28. She showed him her New Jersey driver’s license and gave as her address 1803 Chester Road in Bethlehem – a rental unit at The Meadows at Lehigh apartment complex.
- He said the car was due to be returned by 5:30 pm March 1 – about 48 hours later. Druker failed to return the car.
- Beginning in mid-May, Hertz took steps to find Druker and the car. It began with an “overdue report” the company generated on May 14, followed by a call to her that didn’t get through.
- That was followed on May 17 with sending a certified letter to the Chester Road address, then hiring a repossession company on May 24 and using a search engine the same day.
- On May 31, the repossession company said it could not find Druker or the car, and on June 12 the certified letter was returned. It indicated Druker had moved and had not provided an updated address.
- Repeated calls to Druker were made through June 19. On Wednesday, the company called police.
- After returning to police headquarters, Powell found out from The Meadows at Lehigh that Druker had moved out at the end of February – about the time she rented the car. He also discovered through her criminal history that she was being supervised by Northampton County.
- The county probation office said Druker’s current address was 1151 Bulldog Drive, Apt. 311 – at the Roadway Inn in South Whitehall Township. Powell asked South Whitehall police to check the Roadway’s parking lot for the Chevy Malibu. It was there.
Powell made arrangements to have the car returned to Hertz, and South Whitehall police verified that Druker was living in Apt. 311. An arrest warrant was issued and she was arraigned that night.
A sheet in the court records says Druker lives a “nomadic lifestyle” and has “jumped bail before.”
She was charged with theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. She was committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $5,000 bail.