BURGLARY - POTSDAM - Village police charged Benjamin R. Tipping, 26, of Potsdam with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, unauthorized use of a vehicle and a felony count of third-degree burglary at 10:45 p.m. Thursday on Market Street. He was stopped driving a vehicle taken from a garage without the owners permission. He was released on an appearance ticket for Sept. 19 in Potsdam Village Court.
Tipping was charged with entering a two-stall garage at the rear of the Martins Service Station building in Potsdam and taking a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible without the permission of its registered owner, Robert Martin.
Tipping, in a statement he provided police, said he had received a text message from a friend reporting that a mutual friends vehicle had run out of gas near Community Bank in downtown Potsdam.
Tipping, who said he was employed at Martins, said he had called Mr. Martin to see if he could borrow a vehicle and bring some gas to his friend. He said when he could not reach Mr. Martin he just borrowed the vehicle that was at the garage.
I didnt think it would be that big a deal, he said, suggesting he had borrowed vehicles from the Martins in the past.
He said he drove to his friends vehicle, got gas for her vehicle and then took her for a short ride before the Chevelle ran out of gas. He said he purchased gas from a nearby service station and then drove the car back the garage, leaving it in front of Martins with the gas can left in the back seat.