Chambersburg man says he stole to support heroin habit

May 08, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Franklin County Court to stealing Oil of Olay and over-the-counter medications to pay for his heroin habit.

Benjamin Albert Osterman, 29, of 3021 Edenville Road, pleaded guilty to one count of retail theft in exchange for two other counts being dismissed. He was placed on probation for two years and ordered by Judge John R. Walker to pay restitution of more than $2,100 to the victims - Sunnyway Foods, CVS Pharmacy and Rite Aid.

In February, Sunnyway management contacted the Greencastle Police Department telling officers that about $164 in Advil and Tylenol products were missing.

The affidavit of probable cause stated there had been a similar incident at the Sunnyway in Chambersburg and there was surveillance video of the theft.


The following month, Rite Aid officials called police and said about 60 bottles of Oil of Olay were missing. The CVS pharmacy that month also reported thefts of the skin care product.

When questioned by police, Osterman said he and a woman had stolen the merchandise to pay for heroin, police said.

Osterman did not go to jail for stealing Oil of Olay, but he did get a state prison sentence of eight months to two years for theft by deception. Pennsylvania State Police said Osterman fraudulently filled out material receipts at Chambersburg Waste Paper Co. and received $8,000 for recyclable materials he had not taken to the business.

The thefts occurred over a period of about three months that ended in July when a cashier confronted Osterman when he tried to cash in a receipt for recycled materials, police said. Osterman fled, but the cashier got his driver's license, police said.

He pleaded no contest to the charge in February, according to court records.

Osterman also was sentenced to another three years on probation, a charge to which he pleaded in December, according to court records.

The affidavit of probable cause stated that Osterman was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over Jan. 29, 2007. Despite it being winter, Osterman and the woman driving had the windows down, wore T-shirts and were not shivering, police said.

Police saw syringes in the vehicle and both Osterman and the woman had heroin concealed in their pants, police said.

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