A Maxatawny Township couple has been charged with breaking into numerous units at a Bally storage-rental facility in late summer and offering the items — home medical equipment such as oxygen units, wheelchairs and hospital mattresses — on an internet marketplace.
Jeffery A. Stump, 34, and his wife, Tamara L. Stump, 32, whose last known address was in the first block of Bowers Road, were charged by Bally police on Jan. 11 with three counts each of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. They are not in custody, according to court records.
According to the probable cause affidavit:
On Aug. 31, police were called to Bally Storage, 20 N. Front St., after a man who rented a storage unit discovered someone had removed the heavy-duty padlock from his unit and taken a mini-refrigerator and a 4-square-foot lock box.
Police learned nearly all the other units in that section, six in all, were missing locks.
In Home Medical reported the following items missing from its storage locker: a standard wheelchair valued at $150; a drive wheelchair valued at $350; two hospital bed mattresses valued at $300 each; a nebulizer valued at $60; a hospital bed frame valued at $650; and two 10-liter oxygen concentrators valued at more than $1,000 each; and a 5-liter concentrator valued at $500.
The company representative discovered the missing items were advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace in the Kutztown area by a user identified as Jeffery Stump. Photos of the items were included in the ads showing the label, “Property of In Home Medical.”
The investigating officer recognized Stump’s name because the property manager previously reported Stump rented one of the units with a missing lock.
Among the items missing from other storage lockers were camping gear, fishing equipment, bicycles, board games, stereo equipment and items sentimental to their owners such as boxes of old photos and Campbell’s Soup collector ornaments.
Police viewed security camera footage that shows a red pickup truck without a driver’s side hubcap entering the facility at 1:53 a.m. Aug. 26.
A man later identified as Jeffery Stump is seen unloading the contents of the truck bed into his unit. And later entering adjacent units, including In Home Medical’s, and placing items into his truck bed.
On Aug. 30, the same truck is seen entering the facility and leaving with multiple boxes and a small refrigerator.
On Sept. 2, the same truck is seen arriving at 2:36 a.m. and pulling up to two units. Jeffery Stump is seen handing items to a woman later identified as Tamra Stump, who puts them in the truck bed.
The woman shuts the unit while the man uses bolt cutters to remove the lock of another unit. The man opens the door, removes a bicycle and puts it in the truck bed.
Later that afternoon, the same truck arrives at the storage facility with an attached trailer that is empty. The license plate of the truck indicates it is registered to Tamara Stump.
A man is seen opening a storage locker and a woman is seen removing a bow and arrow from the unit and placing it in the truck bed.
The pair are also seen pushing an all-terrain cycle with a missing front wheel and flat back tire onto the trailer.
Investigators learned Central Berks Regional police had contact with the Stumps in Oley Township on Sept. 2 about 1:45 a.m about 45 minutes before the break-ins at Bally Storage.
Officers Nick Phillips and John Verno stopped Jeffrey Stump at Route 73 and Bertolet Mill Road driving the red pickup truck registered to Tamara Stump, who was in the vehicle.
Verno noted the truck bed was empty at the time. The couple informed the officer that they were on the way to their storage unit in Bally.
Both officers saw the Bally Storage footage of the burglary suspects and identified them as Jeffery and Tamara Stump.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the Stumps is urged to contact the warrants division of the Berks County sheriff’s office at 610-478-6390.