Belfast Police arrested a man who allegedly stole a wrecked vehicle from a garage on June 3 and, after finding he was unable to get too far with it, abandoned it on Route 1.

Police Chief Jeffrey Trafton said Peter Richardson, 49, of Stockton Springs was arrested and charged with operating after suspension and unauthorized use of property.

Police received a complaint around 7:30 p.m. regarding what the caller thought was a traffic accident involving a drunk driver near Jerry’s Hardware on Route 1. By the time Officer Brian Lunt arrived at the scene, Trafton said, the driver had disappeared. The complainant told police they recognized the driver of the vehicle and identified him as Richardson.

Trafton said a canine unit was called in to track Richardson, who showed up at the vehicle two hours later and denied knowing what was going on. Richardson reportedly told police he had just hitchhiked from Portland and had passed out in the bushes behind the hardware store.

Trafton said Richardson had evidently been drinking but police were unable to prove it with an accurate blood alcohol test.

Trafton said Richardson had not been involved in an accident, but had instead allegedly taken the already wrecked car from East Side Garage. The vehicle, which had been in an accident two weeks prior, had been left at the garage by its owner with the keys still inside. Trafton said Richardson began driving the car down Route 1 until he found it was not drivable and abandoned it where police had found it.

Richardson was charged with operating after suspension and unauthorized use of property and is currently out on bail, police said. His court date is set for July 30.