A suspected shoplifter led police to a suspected meth lab in a home in Collingdale early Tuesday, officials said.
Christine Andress-Nye, 45, and Michael Papale, 52, both of Collingdale, and Timothy Fauls, 37, of Springfield Township, were arrested and charged with drug possession with intent to deliver, reckless endangerment, conspiracy, and risking causing a catastrophe, officials said.
Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams said the lab was uncovered after a clerk at a nearby CVS told a police officer about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday that she was concerned about a man who had been in the store for some time.
The man had been in the store earlier and after purchasing the legal daily limit of pseudeoephedrine returned in a failed bid to buy more. Pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, is often used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
When the officer approached the man, he fled, Adams said. The officer followed him to the first floor apartment of a duplex on the 1200 block of McDade Boulevard and noticed chemicals when he attempted to speak to the suspect.
Three people on the first floor and residents of an apartment on the second floor were evacuated from the building.
After obtaining a warrant, a State Police hazmat team entered the house and confirmed the existence of a meth lab, police said.
Adams said investigators also found a large quantity of cash under a dresser.