GRAFTON, Mass. - A Spencer man at Grafton's Troiano Trucking has been charged with stripping a stolen truck after it was traced to the facility by a GPS tracker.
Steven W. Johnson, 46, of Spencer was charged with one count of removing a motor vehicle identification number and one count of motor vehicle defraud in connection with the Nov. 25, 2011, incident, according to records at Westborough District Court.
Grafton Police Officer Michael Swift wrote in his report that he was called to the Creeper Hill Road business for a report of a stolen Peterbilt semi truck filed by Hudson RPM in Worcester. Swift, entering the open garage found Daniel Sheehan, 56, of Worcester, an occasional employee at Troiano, at work on a semi truck stripped down to just its chassis, wheels, motor and gear shifter. The vehicle was identified by Hudson RPM mechanic John Bombara as the missing truck.
"Mr. Sheehan stated that he did not remember the name of the person who brought it to him," Swift wrote. "He stated that he did not know the person's phone numbers, nor could he provide a description of what the person looked like. All he said was a guy approached him and asked if he could work on it and Mr. Sheehan would be paid $2,000 with the money being brought to him at Troiano Trucking in approximately one week."
Sheehan said he was told the truck had been in a rollover accident, Swift wrote.
The truck's red cab was located behind a large boat in another part of the trucking yard, Swift wrote. A man later identified as Johnson, also employed by Troiano Trucking, was seen allegedly removing the vehicle identification number.
"Mr. Johnson stated that he was raking the yard area and cleaning it up," Swift wrote. "He further stated he was standing near the stolen truck cab because he was taking a piss. Upon walking back to the area where the truck cab was located, there was no area which had recently been raked."
Swift observed white stickers and red metal shavings stuck to Johnson's shirt, which were allegedly the same white Department of Transportation markings which had been removed from the red truck. Johnson then allegedly admitted to Swift and two employees from Hudson RPW that he had removed the VIN and sticker from the vehicle at Sheehan's request.
Swift noted in his report that the vehicle did not have damage consistant with a rollover accident, as Sheehan had claimed.
Business owner Mark Troiano said he had received a call from Sheehan about an hour and a half after the vehicle was stolen on Nov. 24, 2011. Sheehan asked if he could work on a truck using his facility.
Troiano told Swift that he had seen the truck on Nov. 24 and when he returned the following morning, he found it dismantled.
"I asked him if he thought this was at all unusual and he stated he didn't know," Swift wrote in his report. "I then asked Mr. Troiano if he thought to call police because it was suspicious that a vehicle on his property was being stripped and he said no. Mr. Troiano was very allusive with information and claimed to know very little about the incident even though the two parties involved worked for him in various capacities and all the work was being done on his property and with his equipment and tools. At no time did Mr. Troiano ask the officers present to leave his property. He informed us that we were free to look around and stated 'I have nothing to hide.'"
Sheehan was charged with receiving stolen property in excess of $250, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle and motor vehicle defraud, according to Grafton Police records.