Police: 3 men conspire to steal building materials from Lancaster County company, sell them at auction
LANCASTER COUNTY — State Police have charged three men with three counts of theft after they allegedly conspired to steal $300,000 worth of building materials from the supply company they worked for and sold them at a fraction of their value at a local auction.
Stephen Weiser, 47, of Oxford, Chester County, Steve Bell, 47, of Coatesville, Chester County, and Kevin Evans, 48, of Ephrata, Lancaster County, have been charged with theft by unlawful taking and retail theft in the scheme. Bell faces an additional charge of organized retail theft, according to State Police.
The three men were charged after the company they worked for, Building Materials & Construction, located on the 3300 block of Lincoln Highway East in Paradise Township, noticed several inventory shortages and contacted State Police after its own private investigation. The company determined that more the the inventory shortages totaled more than $300,000, police say.
The investigation revealed Weiser, who worked as an assistant manager in charge of inventory at the company, conspired with Bell and Evans to sell materials to the PA Auction Center at a fraction of their value, then pocketed the cash. Weiser would then manipulate the inventory to cover the loss, according to police.
Evans told police that Weiser or Bell would decide what materials would be transported to the auction center. Evans or Bell would load the items in the evening, and Evans would deliver the items to the auction center after BMC was closed, police say. Evans was paid about $100 in cash for every delivery, according to police. He told police he made three to five deliveries of lumber, plywood, and other materials to the auction center since 2013, according to the criminal complaint affidavit.
The auction center told police it paid about $5,000 in cash per delivery. Investigators found $12,162.34 worth of stolen materials still at the auction center when they spoke to employees there, according to the criminal complaint.
Bell told police he gave the money for deliveries to Weiser, who would then give him a small portion as payment, according to the complaint. Bell allegedly told police the largest amount of cash he ever received from Weiser was $800, police say.