A corporal with the Amity Township Police Department, who also serves as a detective with the Berks County Major Crime Task Force, has ended up on the other side of the law.
Glenn Oesterling twice shoplifted groceries from the Giant Food Store in the Upland Square Shopping Center in West Pottsgrove Twp., Montgomery Co., police said.
During the first incident on June 12, Oesterling was seen on surveillance video pushing three small children around the store in a shopping cart while he filled reusable grocery bags with $38.04 worth of items, according to court documents. Oesterling then left the store without paying, police said.
Oesterling returned with his children to the Giant on June 18, but this time he was recognized by one of the store's loss prevention officers, who followed Oesterling around the store as he filled his reusable bags with 53 items and left the store without paying his $296.35 bill, according to court documents.
The officer stopped Oesterling in the store's vestibule, where Oesterling identified himself as a "cop" and told the store officer that he had no one available to pick up his kids, according to court documents.
The store officer advised Oesterling that he was no longer allowed on Giant's properties and that charges would be filed against him for retail theft.
Oesterling, 35, of Douglassville, was subsequently charged with retail theft and receiving stolen property. He has since been suspended from the Amity force without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal case, police said.
Oesterling is a veteran of the Amity Township Police Department. He is also one of the original 27 detectives to join the Berks County Major Crime Task Force when it was formed in 2011.
Amity Township supervisor, Robert R. Yanos, released this statement: "Amity Township is a fine community with a fine police force. We don't understand why this happened. We're ready to move forward and we don't want this to be a reflection on our police force or community."