A 19-year-old car rental employee has been arrested for stealing a laptop that a customer accidentally left behind in a car.
Zachary Easter Lothrop of Emmaus has been charged by Pennsylvania State Police with the theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake.
Police say Lothrop admitted taking an Apple Macbook laptop valued at $1,500.
The crime occurred late Saturday morning at Enterprise car rental, 5661 Hamilton Blvd., Lower Macungie Township. Lothrop was arrested Monday.
The victim told police he had rented the car from that Enterprise location on Friday. He put the laptop, which was in a yellow cover, under the floor mat behind the driver's seat.
The victim returned the car to Enterprise late Saturday morning. He later realized he left the computer in the car. He tried to get it back, but the Enterprise staff said he could not retrieve it until Monday.
When the victim returned Monday, he was told by the local Enterprise manager that the missing computer could not be located.
When police were called Monday, the manager said Lothrop was the employee who cleaned the rented car after it was returned.
When Trooper Kevin VanFleet interviewed Lothrop, the employee initially denied finding anything of value inside the vehicle when he cleaned it. But Lothrop was extremely nervous, shaking and shifting his feet from side to side.
The police officer told the employee the laptop had GPS capabilities that could be used to locate it.
Lothrop then admitted finding the computer when he cleaned the car and took it home. He resides in the 100 block of N. 8th St. in Emmaus. At the police officer's request, Lothrop went home, got the laptop and brought it back. The victim identified it as his.
After being arrested Monday, Lothrop was transported to Lehigh County Prison. He now is free on $10,000 bail.