Police paraded 20 suspected criminals before the cameras today, Feb 13 in Bensalem. They were all accused of either stealing vehicle parts or selling them or allowing them to be sold. Some were current employees of the township bus garage on Byberry Road . Others were accused of manipulating payroll. Others were former employees. The amount, Bensalem Police said the ring allegedly managed to defraud the township over 10 years is about a million dollars.
At a press conference held today, Director of Public Safety, Fred Harran said that some of the employees would order car and truck parts, and sell them while never turning in the money to the Township. Still others are accused of allowing ghost workers to be on the payroll. These people got clocked in and never showed up to do any work.
Each and every township resident that pays School taxes should be outraged at this, said a man at the courthouse who did not want to give his name,. This contributed to the taxes residents pay every year.
Most of those that were arraigned were released after they posted a nominal amount of bail,or were released on unsecured bail. That means if they do not show up, they pay the full amount. None of those arrested were willing to speak to the press after getting released. One employee, Wilson Lopez was escorted by constables to the Bucks County Prison,in handcuffs, after he did not make bail. He is alleged to have been in possession of two truck tires he knew were stolen, police said in an affidavit.
Lopez is alleged to have taken possession of parts from Fred Lange, a lead foreman at the shop. He then either used the parts for himself or sold the parts to Smith's Auto Repair in Bristol.
Police in Bensalem were clued into the theft ring by no less than three independent, anonymous sources. police said the ring operated for at least a decade is the value of goods and payroll allegedly stolen from township residents was at least a million dollars.
"The School district was very cooperative with us and helped us in our investigation, so that this stuff would be used on buses where it belongs and not go out the back door", said Fred Harran.
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