An employee of the at 2651 Easton Avenue was standing in the front counter area of the store a little after 8:30 a.m. one recent morning as three men ran past her and out the door – each of them carrying two boxes of baby diapers that had not been paid for.
She ran after the men who quickly got into a silver Toyota and fled.
On Monday, Javier Ortiz, 36, of Bethlehem, was formally charged with felony retail theft for his alleged part in the incident, which purportedly was to help himself and his two accomplices to support a drug habit, according to court papers.
Each of the boxes was worth $25, the arrest affidavit says.
Ortiz, who is currently incarcerated at Greensburg State Prison on other charges, was also charged with felony criminal conspiracy.
According to the court record, Ortiz and both his accomplices, Sean Hartnett and Anyemil Rodriguez, all had at least three prior convictions for retail theft. Hartnett had seven prior retail theft convictions, the affidavit says.
Hartnett told police that he took the diapers and sold them to a store in the Marvine/Pembroke neighborhood and that the thefts were done to help all three men support a drug habit, according to the affidavit.
District Judge James Narlesky set Ortiz’s bail at $20,000.