Sticky fingers point Lower Providence man to jail in theft case

NORRISTOWN – A Lower Providence man faces court supervision after he stole more than $25,000 in jewelry and silverware from a Limerick homeowner who hired him to perform electrical repair work at the residence.

James Dennis Daniels Jr., 25, of the first block of Ivy Circle, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Tuesday, September 10, to three-to-23-months in the county jail, to be followed by five years’ probation, after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with incidents that occurred in April.

Judge William R. Carpenter, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered Daniels to pay $5,303 in restitution in connection with the case. The judge indicated Daniels’ probationary period can be terminated early if all fines, restitution and court costs are paid in full.

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An investigation of Daniels began in May when the Limerick homeowner contacted police to report she discovered that jewelry was missing from her Mulberry Drive home. The homeowner told authorities that no one other than Daniels had been inside her home recently.

Daniels, formerly of the 500 block of Summit Street, Upper Merion, had been at the home on several occasions between April 4 and April 28 after he had been hired to perform electrical repair work at the home, according to court documents.

“The victim would remain home while Daniels performed the work but did not shadow him during the individual jobs,” Limerick Police Officer Brian Tyler and Detective Matthew Daywalt alleged in the criminal complaint, adding the victim, while putting items away in a jewelry box on May 3, discovered numerous items missing. “She began to check other locations within her room where she keeps valuables and noticed additional items missing.”

After discovering the theft, the victim telephoned Daniels, leaving him a message indicating she knew what he had done and advising him to call her, court papers indicate. A short time later, Daniels sent the victim a text message in which he “admitted to the theft, apologized and blamed the theft on a drug addiction he had,” according to police.

The victim told police that jewelry, cash and antique silverware was missing from the home, for a total loss of about $26,365.

When investigators confronted Daniels about the theft he admitted to his involvement, according to the criminal complaint. Authorities determined Daniels sold numerous pieces of the victim’s jewelry to gold buying or pawn shop businesses, according to the arrest affidavit.

Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @MontcoCourtNews