PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man who claims his car was scratched by a shopping cart has admitted to reimbursing himself for the damage by stealing coins from the grocery store machine that releases the carts.

Bruce Kirkpatrick, 75, was seen breaking into the coin machine at the Price Rite supermarket on Dalton Avenue on May 21, according to Pittsfield Police. The incident was caught on security tape.

When officers tracked Kirkpatrick down, he eventually admitted he had broken into the machines on several occasions over the course of a year, but only in order to finance repairs to his car after a shopping cart at the store damaged his vehicle's paint job, police said.

He showed police the scratches on his 1998 Buick sedan.

Kirkpatrick told police he had contacted the grocery store after the incident, but they refused to take responsibility for the damage, so he decided to "get back all the money to fix the scratches to his vehicle," according to the report.

Police believe a pry bar of some sort was used to jimmy open the machines.

The police report indicates that Kirkpatrick had taken about $100 in coins.

Kirkpatrick pleaded to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday before Judge Michael J. Ripps. A finding of guilty on a single charge of misdemeanor larceny under $250 was entered and filed, meaning no action was taken.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office could ask for sentencing on the finding at a later date under certain conditions.


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The plea was agreed upon between Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Michael D'Angelo and Kirkpatrick's attorney, Joshua C. Hochberg.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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