Man charged with stealing from fire, police supply company


Thomas Wessells

A New York man has been charged with allegedly stealing $195,000 in products from a Chester County company that supplies police and fire supplies to first responders, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said Tuesday.

Thomas Wessells, 55, a former employee of Witmer Public Safety Group (WPSG) of Sadsbury, is charged with stealing various products from the company and then reselling them on eBay. The thefts were discovered after Wessells, who had been the company’s Director of Order Fulfillment, was terminated in 2014 for reportedly viewing pornographic materials on a company computer in violation of the company’s sexual harassment policy. The alleged thefts were discovered after that action, authorities said.

“It always comes as a shock to find out that one of your own employees has been stealing from you,” Hogan said in a statement. “Businesses know how to protect themselves from armed robbers, burglars, hackers, and other outside threats. However, a business is often most vulnerable to fraud conducted by a trusted insider like the defendant here. At the end of the day, these defendants are always betrayed by their own greed and stupidity.

After Wessells was terminated, the company investigated his computer use and reportedly discovered that company product had been diverted. Company officials reported the incident to local law enforcement and the Chester County Detectives began to investigate. Detectives did a forensic review of electronic data at the company, examined financial transactions and and used other investigative techniques in an attempt to determine what had happened. The investigation allegedly revealed that the defendant was stealing products from WPSG and selling them on eBay.

Detectives said that using the eBay account “Power2ol” — which linked back to a pair of email addressed reportedly used by Wessells — he shipped items to and from his then-New Castle, Del. home. He is alleged to have stolen nine Aimpoint patrol rifle scopes, which were later identified by serial number, authorities said. Those nine scopes were sold to nine eBay customers, who confirmed the purchases.

Investigators said that Wessells stole more than $195,000 worth of products from WPSG, including  including more than  2,000  eBay  sales. Detectives  seized  the  defendant’s  tax returns,  which  reportedly failed  to  list  any  of  these  sales  as  legitimate  income  for  the defendant.

Wessells was arrested and charged with felony theft, dealing in unlawful proceeds, and related offenses.

This case was investigated by the Chester County Detectives and the Sadsbury Township Police Department.

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