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Woman faces charges for allegedly stealing from friend's home

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Jan 18 2013 05:40:24 AM CST
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A woman is facing charges in connection with the theft of more than $7,000 in cash, jewelry and electronics from the home of her friend, who had lost her house keys in the woman's car, officials said.

Natasha L. Ortiz was arrested for taking $2,500 in cash from a safe, along with two diamond rings and other jewelry, a 60-inch TV set and a Sony PlayStation 3 worth a total of $4,800 from the home of Evette Morales, 1340 Eastwood St., Bethlehem, on Wednesday morning, officials said.

One of Morales' neighbors identified Ortiz as the woman he saw leaving Morales' home with a man at about 11 a.m., with both of them having their hands inside their coats and appearing to be holding something, officials said.

The neighbor also said he saw Ortiz and the man sneaking around the back of his home about 30 minutes earlier, along with another man who was carrying a large TV, and that they all left in a black Audi, officials said.

The neighbor contacted Morales at work and when she returned home, she told police her friend Ortiz drove a black Audi, adding that she recently lost her house keys in Ortiz's car, officials said.

Morales also told police Ortiz's boyfriend had been jailed on Tuesday night, and that Ortiz might be in need of money, officials said, adding that officers later confirmed Ortiz's boyfriend was in prison and that she intended to bail him out.

Ortiz, 24, of 1285 Livingston St., Bethlehem, was arraigned on charges of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. Jan. 30.