BELFAST, Maine — A Unity man will spend four months behind bars after stealing his father’s credit card last summer and using it to rack up unauthorized charges at the Palmyra Wal-Mart.
James W. Hitchcock, 45, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison with all but four months suspended on the charge of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer on Jan. 20 at Waldo Criminal Court. According to court records, Hitchcock had multiple prior theft convictions going back to 1990.
Hitchcock’s father contacted police to alert them of the suspected crime in June 2015, saying that he had put the credit card on a table at his house and then had left the room, according to the investigation narrative from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office. His son was at the home at the time, and the father didn’t realize it was missing for several days.
The father went to the Wal-Mart to find out if his credit card had been used and learned it had been. Someone had used it to purchase a $219 tablet and to get $100 cash back, along with two other, smaller, charges.
The father told police that his son had done this many times to him and ruined his credit, Deputy Daniel Thompson said in the investigation narrative.
“He wanted Jimmy charged with the crime,” Thompson said.
Police obtained surveillance video from the Palmyra Wal-Mart that showed the transaction involving the stolen card. Hitchcock was identified as the person making the transaction, and Thompson went to talk to him.
Initially, Hitchcock denied taking his father’s credit card and using it at the Wal-Mart, but when shown a photo from the surveillance video, he admitted it was him, the officer said in the investigation narrative.
After he serves the sentence, Hitchcock is ordered to spend two years on probation, with conditions that include submitting to random search and testing for alcohol and drugs and paying $372.57 in restitution to his father.