A Portage resident was arrested Tuesday on charges of theft, neglect of a
dependent, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after Portage
Police said that he and his girlfriend’s 16-year-old son were caught in the
act of stealing an air conditioner from the First United Methodist Church at
2637 McCool Road.
According to police, at 4:20 a.m. an officer was dispatched to the church in
response to a report of an activated air-conditioner alarm. On his arrival,
police said, the officer observed Raymond H. Pittman, 36, of 795N 425W in
Portage Township, wearing work gloves and “sweating profusely,” walking
towards him. Pittman initially advised that “he was only walking through the
parking lot” but the officer then saw a large industrial A/C unit “sticking
out the back hatch” of Pittman’s SUV, police said.
The officer also saw a juvenile, later identified as the son of Pittman’s
girlfriend, standing behind the A/C unit. The boy, for his part, at first
refused to comply with the officer’s instructions to walk toward the
officer, then did so after the officer threatened to release his K-9
partner, but subsequently resisted the officer’s efforts to handcuff him,
“I asked Mr. Pittman what they were doing and he advised they were stealing
the air conditioner,” the officer stated in his report.
Pittman was transported to Porter County Jail, police said, while the boy
was detained at the Juvenile Detention Center on delinquency charges of
theft and resisting law enforcement.
Police added that the York A/C unit, valued at $3,000, appeared to have been
damaged, is not salvageable, and “would be a total loss of value.”