RI Man Arrested After Stealing $15K from Westport Fire Department
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI — Police in Rhode Island have arrested a man accused of accepting over $15,000 to make repairs on a Westport Fire Department Engine Pumper, but had not done any of the work.
On May 31, South Kingstown, RI Police arrested 32-year-old Thomas Reardon of 158 Larkin Pond Road (north), West Kingstown, at the request of Westport Police.
Westport Police had sought an arrest warrant for Reardon after investigators were told he had accepted over $15,000 dollars to repair a Fire Department Engine Pumper, and later returned the truck, disguised the defective area and had not done any repairs at all.
The Westport Fire Department 1995 Emergency One Engine Pumper had been damaged during an August 2017 emergency call. The department sought an estimate from a former vendor named Ocean State Diesel located on Larkin Pond Road. Reardon picked up the truck, which was leaking water and brought it back to his former business address.
Weeks later, he returned the truck after demanding he be paid for the repairs. The repair involved an overhaul kit listed on Reardon’s repair quote for $10,478, along with $375 dollars in freight costs from the vehicle manufacturer and $4,400 dollars in labor.
A couple days after the truck was returned, Westport Fire personnel noticed the truck was leaking even worse than before. In December 2017, Reardon came to the Fire Station to view the pumper. He then admitted to fire personnel he had not repaired the truck at all. Fire personnel noticed he had allegedly covered the area with fresh spray paint to disguise visible rusty bolts on the affected area.
Reardon apologized for not doing any repairs, and asked for time to repay the money he had been paid by the Town of Westport. In one of several emails back and forth with the Fire Department, he stated that he was praying that the firefighters and the tax payers grant him an extension to make things right.
Months later, he stopped answering his phone and emails. Westport investigators visited his business location and discovered it was vacant and abandoned. Neighbors told detectives he had left the building about two months earlier. As of June 5, 2018, he had not paid one cent to the Town. The Secretary of State for Rhode Island listed Ocean State Truck & Diesel, LLC with that address and Thomas Reardon as the Resident Agent. In emails to the Fire Department, he stated he was the owner of the business.
On June 5, Reardon turned himself in to the Fall River Justice Center and his arraignment was postponed until June 12.
“Our concern is that Mr. Reardon brought back an emergency tool used by firefighters to rescue people’s lives and protect property while knowing it was still broken," Westport Police spokesman Detective Jeff Majewski said. “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.”