Limerick Township police investigated the report of a theft from Oehlert Brothers on Township Line Road last Thursday, Nov. 22.
Collegeville resident Donnie Avery, 50, was arrested following a search for a van seen leaving Oehlert's premises.
Owner Steve Oehlert called police and advised them he had stopped by his company's offices and saw an unfamiliar red Chevrolet van backing up to a garage on the property. He described the driver to police as a black male wearing a black knit cap and a gray sweatsuit.
Oehlert told police he got into his car to follow the van as it pulled out and was stopped by a male asking for fuel oil. Oehlert reported he told the man to come back Monday, returned to his car and followed the van. The van continued down Township Line Road and Oehlert then spotted it in the parking lot of the Giant store on Ridge Pike.
Oehlert told police he saw a black male standing outside the van talking on a cell phone, and in the van he could see a scrapped condenser that was allegedly taken from his property.
Oehlert called police a second time and reported the van's plate number. Montgomery County dispatch gave police Avery's name and address when he was identified as the van's owner.
Police reported that in Oehlert's surveillance video, the red van could be seen pulling up to the garage on Oehlert's property. Avery reportedly exited the vehicle and then with the assistance of anohter black male, allegedly picked up a scrapped whole-house air conditioner and put it in the back of the van.
Police went to the address and stopped Avery has he was leaving the house in the red van. The van was searched. The allegedly stolen condenser was missing but police reported that gravel similar to Oehlert's parking lot could be seen in plain sight.
Police are waiting on a search warrant to examine some items found in the van, including two cell phones, tools allegedly used to harvest scrap metal and receipts reportedly from scrap yards.
Avery was arrested and charged with theft, receiving stolen property and ignoring posted "No Trespassing" signs. He was released on bail pending a hearing.