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Felony Theft Case Against Pottstown Teen Heads to Trial

Jeremiah White, 19, of the 400 block of North Charlotte Street, allegedly stole a Ford Expedition on Jan. 5 from Norristown, and later crashed it in a Hatfield Township accident, police said.

Jeremiah White's stomach allegedly got him in trouble with the law — and he is now headed to county trial on, among other offenses, a felony receiving stolen property charge.

White, 19, of the 400 block of North Charlotte Street, Pottstown, waived charges of felony receiving stolen property, misdemeanor accidents involving damage to another vehicle, failing to stop and render aid and following a vehicle too closely Tuesday at Montgomery Township district court, according to The Reporter.

White is free on $10,000 unsecured bail, which District Judge Andrea Duffy granted at his preliminary hearing, according to court records.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Adshead told The Reporter that the bail reduction was requested and granted due to White's lack of a prior criminal record, according to The Reporter.

White has a formal arraignment at Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas on March 27.

A Popeye's receipt and a cell phone left behind in a stolen 1998 Ford Expedition involved in a Hatfield Township accident led to the arrest of the Pottstown teen, according to police.

White allegedly stole a 1998 Ford Expedition from Norristown on Jan. 5, 2013, crashed it on Jan. 18 in Hatfield Township and then allegedly fled from the scene of the accident, police said.

Here's what went down:

On Jan. 18, 2013, at 6 p.m., Hatfield Township Police responded to Cowpath Road and North Broad Street for a report of a two-vehicle accident, police said.

Lansdale Patch exclusively updated the public about the crash and subsequent incidents on its Facebook page.

Responding officers learned that the driver of a 1998 Ford Expedition had fled on foot, police said. 

The Expedition was reported stolen from Norristown on Jan. 5, 2013, police said. Officer Keith Bell discovered this information using JNET, according to the affidavit.

A witness told police he was stopped southbound on Cowpath Road, north of North Broad Street, when the driver of the Expedition behind him failed to stop, police said, striking the rear of the witness's 2005 Chevrolet Malibu.

The witness saw the driver, described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing a dark sweatshirt, move across the seats, exit the passenger side and flee west, according to the affidavit.

The Expedition still had its engine running, with the keys in the ignition, police said. 

A receipt from Popeye's on North Broad Street in Hatfield Township was found by Officer Michael Sloan, dated Jan. 16, 2013, 9:49 p.m.

A Metro PCS cell phone was also found in the vehicle, police said.

Detective Thomas Starner reviewed video surveillance of Popeye's on that date and time, and saw the Expedition on video in the drive through, operated by a black male, with a thin build and wearing a dark sweatshirt, according to the affidavit.

Starner got a search warrant for the cell phone, according to the affidavit.

The cell phone turned out to be owned by White's grandmother, who let White use her phone, according to the affidavit.

Using JNET, Starner was able to identify White from his driver license's photograph as the alleged driver of the stolen Expedition, according to the affidavit.

According to court records, this is White's first criminal arrest in Montgomery County and in Pennsylvania.

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