A man from Mashpee faces a slew of charges after fleeing police and attempting to report his getaway car as stolen. Bourne police said the suspect called them while fleeing state troopers.
Edward J. Harper, 45, from Mashpee has been charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, marked lanes violation, failure to stop and yield, possession of Class A drug, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, improper storage of a firearm, defaced firearm number, child endangerment and violation of abuse prevention order.
Massachusetts State Police said Mr. Harper sped away from a traffic stop on MacArthur Boulevard on Tuesday, July 13, around 9 AM. State police spokesman Paul E. Sullivan said that troopers had attempted to stop Mr. Harper after conducting a random query with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and determining that the suspect’s driver’s license was under suspension.
Mr. Harper took off at a high rate of speed in a black 2009 Volkswagen Jetta into Falmouth, Trooper Sullivan said. Troopers pursued him but eventually called off the pursuit for safety reasons, as the suspect entered Mashpee. The car was eventually located abandoned at Johns Pond Park in Mashpee, Trooper Sullivan said.
Trooper Sullivan said that an off-duty Falmouth police officer saw Mr. Harper get picked up by someone in another car and reported it to Mashpee police. That car was eventually located by Mashpee police, who stopped the car and arrested Mr. Harper, the trooper said.
Bourne Police Lieutenant Brandon M. Esip said Mr. Harper called Bourne police to report that his Volkswagen had been stolen from the parking lot of the 7-Eleven convenience store on Clay Pond Road in Bourne. However, the dispatch center’s GPS device was able to determine that Mr. Harper was actually calling from somewhere in Mashpee, not Bourne.
Mr. Harper also told Bourne dispatch that he was chasing the stolen vehicle but would not give his location to the police, Lt. Esip said. An officer who was monitoring state police calls heard that troopers were chasing a car of the same description as the one Mr. Harper claimed to have been stolen and in the area where Mr. Harper was calling from.
Bourne police contacted state police to provide them with the information about Mr. Harper’s location, Lt. Esip said, and state police informed them that Mr. Harper had fled from a traffic stop. It was later learned that the Jetta had been found and that Mr. Harper was arrested by state troopers, Lt. Esip said.
The lieutenant said that Bourne police cannot charge Mr. Harper with filing a false motor vehicle theft report because of a legal technicality. He said that Mr. Harper could not be charged because he did not fill out a written theft report.
“There is case law that says unless a theft report has been filled out, the person cannot be charged,” Lt. Esip said.
Mr. Harper was arraigned in Falmouth District Court on Wednesday, July 14. He was ordered held on $7,500 cash bail. If he is released on bail, he has been ordered to abide by a restraining order taken out against him.
A probable cause hearing into his case has been scheduled for August 12.