A local man has been arrested after scamming the Westport Fire Department for thousands of dollars in repairs he didn’t make.
On Thursday May 31, South Kingston, RI Police arrested Thomas Reardon, 32, of 158 Larkin Pond Road (north), West Kingston, RI at the request of Westport Police. Westport, MA 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 to the Pumper Truck.
The Westport Fire Department 1995 Emergency One Engine Pumper had been damaged during an August 2017 emergency call. The FD 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 $10,478.00 dollars along with $375.00 dollars in freight costs from the vehicle manufacturer along with $4,400.00 dollars in labor. A couple of days after the truck was returned, Westport fire personnel noticed the truck was leaking worse. 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, he had not paid one cent to the Town. The Secretary of State for RI listed Ocean State Truck & Diesel, LLC with the 158 Larkin Pond Road address and Thomas Reardon as the resident agent. In emails to the FD he stated he was the owner of the business.
On June 5, 2018, Reardon turned himself in to the Fall River Justice Center and his arraignment was postponed until June 12.
“Our concern is that Reardon brought back an emergency tool used by firefighters to rescue people’s lives and protect property while knowing it was still broken.” “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.”