Coaldale police charged a Jim Thorpe man with theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, driving without a license, general offenses and being a habitual offender.
Travis Weiser, 32, of 8 Stoney Creek Rd., No. 3, allegedly took a friend's car after several hours of drinking on the Fourth of July.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by police Chief Timothy E. Delaney, here's what happened:
Delaney received a call about a stolen vehicle at 37 Bull Run St. at about 8:30 p.m. July 4. Upon his arrival, he spoke with the victim, Allen Zavitsky, who told him that he and Weiser had been drinking and that he had fallen asleep. When Zavitsky awoke, he told Delaney, his keys and his 1994 Chevy Blazer were gone.
Zavitsky said he did not give anyone permission to drive the vehicle, so he reported it to the police as stolen.
About an hour-and-a-half earlier, at about 7 p.m., Delaney had been parked off the highway west of Bull Run, enforcing speed limits, when he saw a Chevy Blazer pull onto Route 209. But from where he was parked, it appeared that the vehicle had come from the PPL parking lot, which is next to 37 Bull Run St.
The vehicle traveled east on Route 209 toward Lansford. At about 8:15 p.m., Delaney was parked on the Number 11 hill (Route 209), enforcing speed limits, when the Blazer, traveling east, pulled off the highway at the top of Number 11 hill. The driver, Delaney observed, kept looking back in the direction of Tamaqua. After several minutes, the young, white, male driver who had short hair, pulled back onto the highway and continued traveling east.
Coaldale Officer Andrew Girard issued a be-on-the-lookout for the Blazer, and placed into the National Crime Information Center database.
After talking with Zavitsky and finding out who had taken his vehicle, Delaney and Girard ran a driving check and Delaney saw that the same person, Weiser, who had allegedly taken Zavitsky's vehicle, was the driver who had pulled out in front of him on the Number 11 hill on Route 209.
A few days later, Allentown police recovered the Blazer, and Zavitsky went to claim it.