A suburban Bethlehem man identified in court records as a heroin addict with a lengthy criminal record has been charged with stealing jewelry and a digital camera from a city apartment in July.
The records say Jason David Matz, 27, was at the apartment with two female friends. One of them was checking on the apartment for her father and sister, the apartment’s residents who were out of town.
While the women were with each other, Matz was elsewhere in the apartment, the records say, adding that he left with jewelry valued at $700 and the $500 camera.
He later took the camera to a SouthSide store, where he attempted to sell it for $50, the records say.
Bethlehem Police Det. Bradford Jones writes in a criminal complaint that he is familiar with Matz from “previous investigations” and “knows him to be a heroin addict.”
Jones said Matz, of the 2500 block of Oakside Drive in Hanover Township, Northampton County, has arrests for theft, robbery, drug violations and prohibited offensive weapons. Those cases were in Lehigh and Northampton counties, online court records say.
Matz is also wanted by state police at Dublin in Bucks County in a drug-related DUI case, Jones said.
In the complaint, Jones calls for Matz’s arrest in the apartment theft case because he had the stolen camera “and was the only person with the opportunity and motive to commit the theft.”
A bench warrant for Matz’s arrest was issued Sept. 25 – about two months after the incident. He was arraigned Thursday night.
Jones’ complaint also says:
- On July 17, a Tuesday, city police received a theft report from the man who lives with his youngest daughter on the 800 block of N. New Street. He said he was out of town with his daughter between July 14 and July 16 and had his oldest daughter check on the apartment while they were away.
- When they returned home, the man and the youngest daughter found several items missing – a gold wedding band valued at $400, a gold necklace with a cross valued at $100, a silver cameo necklace and earrings valued at $200, and a Nikon D3000 camera and lens valued at $500.
- Prior to contacting city police, the man questioned his oldest daughter about her visits to the apartment. She said she stopped on July 15 to check on the man’s cat. She also said she stopped on the same day with two friends – Matz and a female. It’s not clear if the oldest daughter made one or two visits to the apartment on July 15.
- The female and the oldest daughter were together “the entire time,” while Matz was out of the oldest daughter's sight “for much of the time he was at the residence.”
- The next day, July 16, sales records from a store called EZ Money, 20 W. Fourth St., indicate Matz tried to sell the camera and lens at 1:25pm for $50.
Matz was charged at his arraignment before on-duty District Judge Todd Strohe of Bangor with theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property. He was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail.