DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — A Perry County man is accused of taking parts off vehicles at Freedom Toyota Group in Lower Paxton Township.
It’s alleged that 42-year-old Michael Tucker stole parts off six trucks on five separate occasions between August 28, 2018 and January 18.
Tucker allegedly stole a catalytic converter from a 1996 Ford F250 and numerous parts from three different Toyota Tacomas, including: a front and rear bumper, a front grill, two rear taillights, two front seats, a truck bed cap, gauge clusters, side/rear windows and a radio, the criminal complaint says.
The total cost of the alleged theft suffered by Freedom Toyota Group is approximately $4,749.59. The total cost of related damages incurred is around $600.82.
During the investigation, police observed surveillance video from one of the alleged thefts that occurred on January 12. The video showed a black pickup — which police noted at the time possibly being a Toyota Tacoma — entering the property without no truck bed cap affixed, according to the criminal complaint. The vehicle then parked next to another Toyota Tacoma, known as Freedom Toyota Group’s “shop truck,” and a person could be seen with what appeared to be a flashlight. The vehicle later left the parking lot with a cap affixed to the bed.
Police found the alleged stolen parts during an unrelated burglary investigation that linked back to Tucker. His truck, a black Toyota Tacoma, was observed on video associated with a vehicle theft. Police served a search warrant at Tucker’s residence on March 8 where they found the stolen vehicle and a stolen trailer, the criminal complaint alleges. Inside the trailer were Toyota rear side windows and car stereos, among other things.
Images of Tucker’s truck taken on August 28, 2018 and March 15 showed what police said was obvious modifications while comparing the two.
“I observed that Tucker obviously replaced both front and rear bumpers, replaced the stock tires with the oversized tires/lift, and added the truck cap,” police wrote in the criminal complaint.
During an interview with police Tucker reportedly admitted to stealing the catalytic converter and truck bed cap.
Because of Tucker’s admission as well as surveillance depicting a vehicle similar to the suspect’s, police determined that probable cause existed, according to the criminal complaint.
Police seized Tucker’s truck on March 20 and a search warrant was signed off on five days later. The officer seized the following items which were allegedly stolen from Freedom Toyota Group: front bumper, front grill, rear bumper, front driver’s and passenger seat, and taillight assemblies, the criminal complaint says.
Police also seized gloves, hats, hand-held flashlights, head-mount flashlights, two smart phones, a Samsung Chrome Notebook, suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Tucker has been charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, possession of instruments of a crime, criminal mischief, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, court documents show. He has been confined to Dauphin County Prison after failing to post bail.