Charges are pending against a 32-year-old Madison man who apparently had second thoughts after stealing new gas cans from a Harpersfield Township convenience store late last week, sheriff deputies said.
The man was arrested early Sunday morning on Interstate 90 with more than 20 identical cans in his vehicle.
On Friday morning, the store on Route 534 reported the theft of fuel cans. Later, store personnel got a call from a man who said he took the cans, felt bad about it and wanted to return them — but also didn't want to involve the authorities.
The man’s phone number was provided to deputies, who placed a call. The same man answered and told a deputies the same story, adding he took the cans believing they were free of charge. The man also said he wanted to return the cans but didn't want to risk any charges, according to a report.
Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, a deputy on patrol in the vicinity of the store saw a vehicle matching the description of the can crook's car drive past. On the ground near the store were four cans, deputies said.
The deputy gave chase and eventually pulled over the vehicle on I-90. The driver identified himself as the same fellow who had the phone chat with the deputy, the report shows.
Asked about the many other cans in the vehicle, the man told deputies they had been stolen from other stores and he was in the process of returning them all.