A Bethlehem woman accused of breaking into her friend’s home and taking $2,500 in cash and $4,800 in items that included jewelry and a 60-inch television may have had a reason for her alleged action:
She wanted to bail out her boyfriend from prison, according to court records.
At least that was the theory put forth by the burglary victim when she got home from work Wednesday and discovered the money and items missing from her home on the 1300 block of Eastwood Road in Marvine-Pembroke.
Police acted on the victim’s boyfriend-in-prison theory and discovered she was right.
Court records say the burglary suspect – Natasha Lee Ortiz, 24 – had told Northampton County officials earlier Wednesday she would be at the prison after 7pm to bail out her boyfriend.
It’s unclear if Ortiz actually tried to bail him out, but the records do say she ended up in prison herself – after being arraigned at 11 Wednesday night on burglary and other charges.
The burglary victim had another clue that apparently turned out to be correct. A neighbor told her he saw a woman – later identified as Ortiz – and two men leaving in a black car after taking a television from the victim’s home.
The victim told police Ortiz drives a black car – a 1999 Audi – and that there was something else: The victim recently lost her house keys in Ortiz’s car, the records say.
A criminal complaint filed by city Officer Kristopher Shirk also says:
- Shirk arrived at Eastwood Road around 11:15am Wednesday and talked to the neighbor, who said he looked out his back window and saw a woman and two men “sneaking around to the rear of his residence.”
- He saw one of the men with a large television and the other man and the woman walking down a hill toward a black Audi or Acura parked on Fritz Drive. The three drove away. The complaint does not identify the men or say if they have been charged.
- One of the men and the woman returned about 30 minutes later, the neighbor said. The neighbor went outside and saw the pair coming out of the burglary victim’s home. He said even though the woman wore a hoodie, he was able to get a good look at her and recognized her as being around the neighborhood in the past. (Ortiz lives not far away on the 1200 block of Livingston Street.)
- The neighbor talked to the burglary victim when she got home from work and the victim later talked to Shirk. She said she had locked her door before going to work earlier that morning. She also said she had talked to the neighbor, that Ortiz drives a black Audi and that the victim lost her house keys in that car. She identified Ortiz as a friend.
- The victim said she showed the neighbor a photo of Ortiz. The neighbor confirmed Ortiz was the woman he saw earlier with the two men.
- The victim told Shirk $2,500 in cash was taken from a safe in her bedroom. Also taken were two diamond rings, other jewelry, the 60-inch Philips television and a PlayStation 3.
- The victim then told police that Ortiz’s boyfriend had been locked up and that Ortiz may be in need of money. Police did not find Ortiz at her home, but said she was sending text messages to the victim after the burglary was reported.
- The complaint identifies Ortiz’s boyfriend as Jimmy Martinez-Ramos. According to online court records, Martinez-Ramos, also 24 and also born in October 1988, was arraigned Wednesday morning on a felony drug charge of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. The records do not say what kind of drug was involved. He was committed to county prison in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Like her boyfriend, Ortiz was committed to county prison in lieu of $20,000 bail. In addition to burglary, she was charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property.
She was arraigned by on-duty District Judge Todd Strohe of Bangor.