John Doe of Bethlehem Charged with Burglary

Identity of jailed burglary suspect remains a mystery, so for now the courts call him John Doe.


Officially, the court record says John Doe of Bethlehem has been charged with burglary.

Doe, who according to the record is also known as Jose Varela, 25, of 336 Buchanan St., allegedly tried to break into his ex-girlfriend’s SouthSide home at 118 W. Graham Place between 11:30 and 11:39 a.m. Tuesday, according to an arrest affidavit.

The statement of probable causse says the suspect was caught in the act by Officer Michael Leaser, a member of the Bethlehem Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit, who was dispatched to the scene after a call from the home’s occupant.

In his report, Leaser wrote that he saw the defendant leave the scene, but was unable to make contact with him before he fled east. An outer plexi-glass window was cracked and pushed in and a wooden window frame had been broken.

The suspect was later arrested and charged with burglary, criminal trespass and criminal attempt to commit burglary.

So why was the suspect being referred to as John Doe in the official court record?

According to The Express Times, who quoted an employee at on-duty District Judge Roy Manwaring’s office, authorities have been unable to verify the identifying information that the suspect provided to police, including a Social Security number.

Whoever he is, he was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.


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