Police Charge Another School Employee with Theft

Martin Chappell was charged with theft and resale of Bensalem School District property.


have announced the arrest of a second employee related to the ongoing investigation into the theft and resale of district property.

Police yesterday arrested Martin Chappell, 61, of Bensalem.

According to a release, Chappell was employed by the Bensalem Township School District for the past 21 years as a mechanic at their . Investigation revealed that Chappell was involved in multiple thefts from the school district bus garage over an extended period of time. He was charged with theft and receiving stolen property.

Chappell was arraigned and sent to the Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of 10 percent of $50,000 bail.

Last week, police arrested Frederick Lange, 68, of Croydon. He was charged with the theft and resale of truck tires, truck batteries, and other automobile accessories worth over $400,000.

This investigation is on-going and anyone with additional information is asked to call Bensalem Township Police at 215-633-3719.

Tips can be called in or emailed at 215-633-3660 or tips@bensalem-township.org

Bensalem Homeowner August 28, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Is this why my school-property tax goes up every year?
Mike Thomas August 28, 2012 at 05:06 PM
When are we going to start seeing terminations or arrests of higher ups? Who was overseeing these people and signing off on all of their purchases? Someone needs to look at Tom Phillips, who is listed as the purchasing manager. Was he signing a blank check to these departments?
Joan Schleinkofer August 28, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Ugh...another one. Who is watching the store???? I agree with Mike - some heads should roll. The homeowners and students of Bensalem are the ones who will wind up paying for this.
Connie Youmans August 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Why isn't the bail the amount 10% of the theft? Stole $400K worth of goods and he gets a $5K instead of $40K. The latter is a bigger deterrent don't you think? And if he has to sit in jail for a while, so be it.
Robert M August 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I also agree with Mike lets start with the former Superintendent Bill Gretzula and Business Manager Jack Myers both should be fired and incarcerated. This is the second scandal that took place on their watch. First we had goundskeepers falsifying time cards and stealing OT pay and now parts sold under the direct supervision of the District Office. What a travesty!
Tom Phillips August 28, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I would agree to debate Mr. Mike Thomas (depending who he might be) on the merits of his blog statement if he knew the PA State and School District Purchasing Systems. However Mr. Thomas is completely not an informed individual and is just shy of being called out for Defamation of Character. Tom Phillips
Ed August 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM
How about back in 1994-5 when it was discovered that contractors were getting no bid contracts. The only ones who were punished we're the contractors and one assistant supervisor. While the superintendent went unpunished as did the business manager and head maintence super. If you have 200 buses but have tires for 300 something doesn't add up. Judy saying.
Jeff August 29, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Joan & Ed, I know what you mean .... I wonder what the school board is thinking right now one scandal after another and I am curious to know which members including the President Heather Nicholas supported the previous regime. It seems the new superintendent is cleaning house and uncovering a long standing practice of apathy. He is connecting the dots and I for one want to see where they lead while watching our schools return to their former glory ... New blood with new ideas, its about time! Anything is better then the Lombardo - Gretzula era in which our concerns were validated with lip service.
M.Trimble August 29, 2012 at 03:40 AM
With everything going on in the school district I still ask the same question as before, Where Were The 6 or 7 $60,000+ a year supervisors??? If they were doing what they get paid to do this would not have been allowed to happen, but again why aren't their names being mentioned! They're still holding their positions & getting paid to Not Do Their Job!!!! How is this allowed to go on with so many supervisors????!!! I would like to have one of these supervisors job, to get paid to do nothing and not be held accountable for anything!! Where do I sign up!
Ben Salem August 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Me thinks that Mr. Tom Phillips protesteth too much. I think it's time that he, Bob Mosely (Facilities Manager) and Grace Yaeger (Transportation Coordinator) all went bye bye.
Joan Schleinkofer August 29, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Question - are these thiefs the same people who make sure our school busses are safe for our children?
TMC August 29, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I can not believe it takes so long for someone to be caught stealing! I want to know where are the people who they have to answer to? They should be reprimanded as well. This is ridiculous, most people I know work extremely hard to provide for their families while these idiots are stealing right under our noses. So how do we get the money back, does Bensalem take over their homes and other properties they own?
Mike Thomas August 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Mr. Phillips, I did not come close to defamation of your character. I only asked a question which many of the residents are wondering, which you did not answer. Since you chose to come onto this forum and accused me of being "not an informed individual", would you like to enlighten me and the rest of the residents who are asking questions regarding these incidents? Specifically, what checks and balances were in place in the office that you manage to prevent something like this from happening? How could something like this occur and what are your thoughts on what happened? Finally, you are right, I do not know the PA State and School District purchasing system, as I am sure many residents do not know, but that is YOUR JOB, not ours. So instead of trying to be condescending towards a taxpayer of this township, why don't you enlighten us?
TMC August 29, 2012 at 06:37 PM
M.Trimble August 29, 2012 at 06:56 PM
It's a simple solution. If Bensalem purchased 50 tires etc, shouldn't there be work orders and/or inventory of these 50 tires!!! Doesn't Bensalem check their purchases, work orders, and what's left in inventory???!!!! It's not rocket science!! Shouldn't you know where your purchased items are being used. Here's another idea, keep receipts & inventory and don't let so many people have purchasing privileges. Also, I AGREE with Mike!!
John August 29, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Mr Phillips, Please, answer the question that Mr. Thomas asked of you on behalf of us, the taxpayers who have to again pay for this mess.
Bensalem Homeowner August 29, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I agree with these posts regarding T. Phillips, who as an employee of Bensalem School District, is receiving a paycheck funded by homeowners in the township through property tax. The overtime fraud by school workers and now this graft in the school garage going back 14 years leads any reasonable person to assume these people who were caught are not the only school employees stealing. Homeowners are getting hit every year with property tax hikes and I for one am disgusted to think my property tax is being ripped off by thieves. And yes, T. Phillips, as the supervisor of people caught stealing you are open to scrutiny.
Ben Salem August 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Once again, the people supervising transportation and facilities departments MUST GO NOW! If the superintendent who is new to the district and knows no one can find all this out in a short period of time then Facilities Manager Bob Mosley and Transportation Coordinator Grace Yaeger should have been wise to these goings on. Eiter they (Mosley and Yaeger) were in on it or they just didn't care. Either way they NEED TO GO!
Matthew August 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Mike has a valid point. However, I'm not sure Myers or Gretzula should be held responsible. They are pretty removed. Doesn't the mayor choose who sits on the school board(didnt he have his sons girlfriend on it onetime)? Maybe the Mayor should be responsible, he takes credit for everthing else !
Robert M August 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Matthew I agree Mike has valid points however you are remiss in a few of your points: Myers oversaw the bus department and its budget along with their purchases directly. Gretzula may not need be held accountable but it may prove he was asleep at the helm. Ben Salem is correct in that the new Superintendent Dr. David Baugh is making people accountable and uncovering prior regimes short comings as competent administrators. Next the Mayor doesn't appoint schoolboard directors they are voted into office by Bensalem voters. Unfortunatly we sometimes vote for people based on their platforms and then in office they change their stripes. This is evident with the recent tax increase the School board voted for in this last budget. Lastly I guess Money magazine made a mistake naming Bensalem a top 100 community to reside... A distinction I am very proud of presently and the mayor and counsel have been intstrumental in the success of this township... I may not alway agree with their decsions but i do think they have Bensalem's best interests at heart!
P2YA August 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I just paid my school taxes yesterday, and I am outraged that I and every other property owner in Bensalem has to endure a tax increase while we are seeing theft after theft in salary (the time card gambit) and now goods and supplies. The aggregate of all this is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars--funds that may have prevented a tax increase in 2012. These individuals, if proven guilty, need to be come down on like a ton of bricks requiring full restitution, loss of pension, jail time. There can't be any of the usual nonsense, "Oh, he's a family man, and other than that he was a great employee;" or sweeping it under the rug as often happens in the public sector. The public trust has been badly violated. Make no mistake these are not low-paid individuals. They earn generous salaries and have a pension and benefits others can only dream of. As for senior management responsible for overseeing these employees, all of this theft should have been caught long ago but wasn't, so spare us your righteous indignation. You work for the taxpayers, and right now the consensus is that the ship hit a mine on your watch. Ditto the (rubber stamp) School Board.
Jeff August 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I will say it again ... I heard teachers couldn't get books out of the business manager but if Robert is correct i hen that he signed off directly on the Bus depot purchases The former CFO & CEO should be investigated. I am a lifelong Bensalem resident I love this town and ond memories even though my father lost his life fighting a fire in Bensalem over 20 yrs ago. He is still remembered and our Mayor has provided us a safe evironment that provides nice atmosphere to raise our children. Unlike many other surrounding areas that border Philadelphia, Bensalem is a jewel and I am proud to be an OWL... Go Mayor Joe!
jsmith August 30, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Tom Phillips and Jack Meyers are the ones that oversee these departments. Tom Phillips is the purchasing director he should be aware of every single thing that is purchased. M. Trimble you are absolutely right its not rocket science, but since Phillips was slacking on the job he was cut back to part time. I guess if he was working and not playing on his computer he may have been paying more attention to his job. He needs to lose his job and his pension and so should every one of these employees. Every year we take away more from the kids and our taxes still go up. Clean house!
A district employee August 30, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Others in the school district have lost their jobs due to cuts.in the district. Take their PENSIONS. And hire back the BUE employees who lost jobs
Lee Min Ho August 30, 2012 at 04:59 AM
I have one thing to say to all who seem to be on witch hunt against Tom Phillips. Those who live in glass house should not throw stones. I would suggest that you check your facts first before spouting off incorrect information.
John August 30, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Lee Min Ho, do you have some other facts different than the obvious? Please set us straight now! What exactly do you mean? Live in glass house...? I don't think any one of us discussing this mess has been involved in this (other than T. Phillips) or ever charged with theft so please explain and enlighten us to the facts that only you seem to know but don't freely share.
Mike Thomas August 30, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Isn't it funny how Mr. Phillips was quick to try to call me out here on this forum, but now that everyone is asking questions, he is no where to be found. JSmith - interesting details about Mr. Phillips. I wonder if the district should start monitoring their employees computer activities as is done at major corporations. I'm sure the taxpayers would be surprised at what would be found. I think we should all start going to the school board meetings and demanding answers instead of the PR fluff that the district keeps putting out.
Steve Sabel August 31, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Mike, I agree that the school board should be interviewed. However, this is not surprising with the lack of leadership ability displayed by School Board President Heather Nicholas. She should resign immediately as president of the board and go back to being a teacher, I mean realtor, I mean web designer. She can't even hold a job why would we ever think she could handle the largest budget in the township? I must admit I voted for her because I felt she cared however, the only thing she has done correctly is hire the new Superintendent Dr. Baugh who and pardon my French has balls!


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