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Matthew Strohl hijacks minivan in Bethlehem Walmart lot, police say

Published On: Mar 11 2013 09:57:39 AM EDT
Police lights file 2

A trip to Walmart turned into a harrowing experience for a Northampton County woman.

Police said the woman, Meeta Verma, was waiting to park her minivan in the lot at the Bethlehem Square Shopping Center at 3926 Linden Street in Bethlehem Twp., when a man jumped into the passenger side of her car.

She told police she got scared and immediately jumped out of the minivan, and started screaming.


The  man drove off in the minivan. A Bethlehem police officer witnessed the carjacking and another officer found the vehicle parked at the entrance to the shopping center near Burger King. The man wasn't in the vehicle, police said.

While checking the Kmart parking lot, police saw a man matching the description of the carjacker. When he saw the police, he took off running, but he was taken into custody.

The officer who witnessed the car hijacking confirmed this was the man in custody, identified as 26-year-old Matthew Edward Strohl, of 6935 Weaversville Road, Northampton.

The victim also identified Strohl as the man who took her car, police said.

Strohl is charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.

He was taken to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail.