Updated 10 am, Wednesday, Dec. 30
Oak Bluffs Police said Pilgrim Auto tow truck driver Brett C. Geddis, 25, of Edgartown answered a call for AAA assistance Wednesday from a woman whose car would not start and stole a wallet she had left in her stranded vehicle.
When police located Mr. Geddis later that morning, a search of the tow truck he was driving turned up two replica firearms, illegal prescription drugs, marijuana and a hypodermic needle, but not the victim’s wallet, according to a press release posted on the Oak Bluffs Police Department Facebook page.
The replica firearms are powered by CO2 and shoot small pellets. They are not illegal but may be easily mistaken for real guns, police said
Police arrested Mr. Geddis on the following charges: Larceny from a person; larceny over $250; possession of a class C drug (diazepam); and possession of a class E drug (alprazolam). He was released at 12:23 pm, Wednesday afternoon on $500 bail from the Dukes County Jail, according to jail officials.
“AAA Northeast was deeply concerned and disappointed to learn about the incident involving a tow truck driver employed by Pilgrim Road Auto Repair,” Lloyd P. Albert, senior vice president for public and government affairs, said in a prepared statement sent to The Times Tuesday. “AAA has suspended the towing company pending a thorough internal investigation. The auto club is currently coordinating efforts with local police departments on Martha’s Vineyard to ensure that AAA members get prompt emergency service.”
The incident began when a resident of the Pond View subdivision in Oak Bluffs called AAA for roadside assistance after her car would not start Wednesday morning, according to police. Pilgrim Auto, located in Edgartown, is the AAA representative for Martha’s Vineyard.
Pilgrim Auto sent tow truck driver Brett Geddis to the woman’s residence to assist her with starting the vehicle. “The victim stated that her purse and wallet were in the vehicle prior to the Pilgrim Auto employee arriving,” police said.
Mr. Geddis was unsuccessful in starting the vehicle, and suggested the woman make arrangements to have the vehicle fixed at a garage. The vehicle owner said Mr. Geddis claimed he had another call to go to, stated he would come back to assist her, and left the area, police said.
When the woman went to retrieve her wallet from inside her car, it was missing, police said.
The woman called police at 10:45 am Wednesday and reported the theft. Based on statements from the victim, police identified the Pilgrim Auto tow truck driver as Brett Geddis.
Oak Bluffs Police, State Police and Edgartown Police began a search for Mr. Geddis. Oak Bluffs police located Mr. Geddis driving the tow truck near the victim’s residence and stopped him.
“A motor vehicle stop was initiated and Geddis was questioned about the theft,” police said. “Geddis denied stealing the wallet and asked for a lawyer.”
Mr. Geddis is very familiar to police and with the court system.
In May 2008, Mr. Geddis, 17, was one of three Tisbury teens arrested by Edgartown police on burglary charges and arrested one week later after stealing a Jeep from the Tisbury Park and ride lot.
That same year Mr. Geddis and Michael Ellis, 21, assaulted
George Buckley, 79, a ticket taker at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven and stole almost $500 in theater receipts from him, as he was on his way to a bank night deposit box on Main Street at about 8:30 pm, September 30.
On April 30, 2009, expressing outrage at a crime he labeled violent and cowardly, Dukes County Superior Court Associate Justice Cornelius J. Moriarty II sentenced Mr. Ellis to two years in the Barnstable County House of Correction and Mr. Geddis, then 18, to one year in the Dukes County House of Correction.