“You got me!”
Those were the words an admitted emergency generator thief said after he allegedly tried to get a police officer off his scent by claiming someone else stole the power device.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, a West Goshen Township Police officer was patrolling near Airport and Greenhill Roads (near U.S. Route 202) around 11:15 p.m. Thursday when he saw a blue Ford pickup truck with the driver-side door wide open parked in home’s driveway in the town where thousands remained without power late Thursday.
Moments later, a man with a beard approached the officer’s cruiser and said that someone in a red Ford Explorer has driven off just moments earlier with a stolen generator.
The officer took off down nearby Greenhill Road looking for the Explorer but something seemed a miss to the officer, according to the affidavit.
The officer said he made a U-turn to return to original driveway only to find the blue pickup truck was gone. The officer turned down Boot Road and that is when the same pickup, with the same Pennsylvania tags, pulled out in front of the officer at a high-rate of speed, according to the officer.
The officer flipped on his lights and sirens and eventually was able to stop the pickup in a nearby church parking lot.
The same man who told the officer his generator was stolen then stepped out of the truck and walked towards the officer, according to the affidavit.
“You got me, I was the one stealing the generator,” said the man.
The man, identified as James Hutchinson, cooperated as the officer arrested him.
According to police, the 45-year-old Hutchinson told the officer he had a permit to carry and his handgun was in the center console of the pickup.
When the officer went to retrieve the gun he also found a cut combination lock sitting on the front passenger seat.
A red Honda generator, estimated to be worth $999 was found in the back of the pickup, according to police.
Hutchinson allegedly told officers that he had seen the generator earlier in the day and had decided to come back with the intention to take it, according to the affidavit.
A district judge is expected to arraign Hutchinson on theft and receiving stolen property charges.