Police: Man pretends to fix Westport fire truck, pockets more than $15K
Police said a West Kingston man pretended to fix a Westport fire truck while pocketing over $15,000 in repair fees.
Thomas Reardon, 32, is being charged with larceny for accepting the large sum of money and disguising the truck’s defects instead of fixing them, according to the Westport Police Department.
A Westport Fire Department Engine Pumper had become damaged during an emergency call in 2017, resulting in a constant leak. The fire department reached out to Ocean State Diesel, a former vendor.
Police said Reardon picked up the truck and returned it weeks later, claiming it was fixed and demanding the money for the repairs. Fees included a $10,478 quote, $375 in freight costs and $4,400 in labor.
A couple of days after he returned the truck, fire department personnel noticed the leak had gotten worse and reported the area was just painted over to disguise rusty bolts.
According to police, Reardon admitted to not repairing the truck and asked for time to repay the taxpayer.
Police said there are several emails back and forth with Reardon and the fire department where the suspect allegedly prayed the firefighters and tax payers would grant him an extension.
Investigators said he eventually stopped answering his phone and emails and his business location was discovered abandoned. Neighbors told police he had left the building months earlier.
Reardon was arrested by South Kingstown police Thursday at the request of Westport police.
As of June 5, he had not repaid the Town of Westport. He is expected to be arraigned June 12 in the Fall River Justice Center.
“Our concern is that Mr. Reardon brought back an emergency tool used by fire fighters to rescue people’s lives and protect property while knowing it was still broken,” police said in a statement. “This wasn’t a situation where a mechanic did a poor repair job, this was a crime to pretend the truck was fixed and accept over $15,000 dollars from public safety heroes who risk their lives on a regular basis.”