The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 16, 2011

Wife: Hubby didn’t steal ATVs from flood water

SUNBURY — Autumn Truelove claims her husband was aiding a flood victim when he plucked two all-terrain vehicles from the swollen Shamokin Creek on Sept. 9 and was stunned when he was arrested on felony theft charges.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” she said as she waited with their two youngest children to learn his fate Thursday morning at a preliminary hearing before Senior District Judge Richard P. Cashman.

The hearing was waived and Michael D. Truelove, 30, of 1300 Market St., was freed after spending nearly a week in Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $70,000 cash bail.

Two charges each of felony theft and receiving stolen property will be dropped if he successfully completes the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program offered to first-time offenders.

“It’s what the victim wants and the property was recovered,” Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski said. “However, one can’t take advantage of someone else’s disadvantage.”

Three ATVs washed away from Super Autos, Route 61, in Upper Augusta Township, during the flood at a time when Northumberland County was under a state of emergency.

State police at Stonington Cpl. George Ritchey said there were a few reports of looting of items scattered into flood water last week, but no other charges have been levied.

Truelove, who was accompanied by his wife and 10-year-old daughter, was caught by state police at Stonington removing one of the ATVs after law enforcement received a tip that a theft was taking place in the area. Another ATV was recovered from his home.

Super Autos owner Robert Hupp said he doesn’t know what Truelove’s intentions were, but he didn’t want to press charges.

“I don’t believe the ATVs were on my property,” Hupp said, certain they had floated away with the rising water. “I was surprised they threw the book at him.”

Autumn Truelove said she, her husband and their children, a 3-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl, were checking out the rising creek when they overheard two juveniles talking about stealing the vehicles the couple knew belonged to the area business.

They sprang into action and recovered two ATVs from near the creek at the railroad tracks, planning to return them to Super Autos.

“We thought we might even get a reward,” she said.

In hindsight, Autumn Truelove said, she regrets not calling police first.

The family has faced quite a bit of trauma in the past few weeks.

They had been living in North Carolina for two years when they lost nearly everything in Hurricane Irene two weeks ago.

“We came back here with three kids, a dog and our clothes in a pickup truck,” she said.

Along the way, they reached out to help others affected by the hurricane, including giving a stranded motorist a push to a gasoline station.

— E-mail comments to

Text Only
  • Budd fundraising run to pass Geisinger

    MILTON — It’s “kickstands up” tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. from LT’s Tavern on Route 405 in Milton where hundreds of motorcycles will take off on a run to raise funds for the Budds, the Ohio family whose matriarch, Sharon, recovers at Geisinger Medical Center from grave injuries suffered in a rock-throwing incident two weeks ago.

    July 25, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Attorneys seek $28G more from Line Mountain in wrestling case

    WILLIAMSPORT — The legal fee issue between the Line Mountain School District and the Beattie family, which successfully sued the district to allow seventh-grader Audriana Beattie to participate on the all-male wrestling team, is not over.

    July 24, 2014

  • Driver to police: 'Just shoot me'

    WATSONTOWN — A Turbotville man has been charged with making terroristic threats and disturbing the peace after he allegedly threatened to shoot people in a bar and said he had a weapon.

    July 24, 2014

  • New panel of officers installed by CSIU directors

    MONTANDON — A new executive team was installed at Wednesday night’s Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit meeting, as the terms of the present leadership expired this month. Act 102 of 1970, which first created 29 IUs in Pennsylvania, requires  intermediate unit directors to elect board of director officers annually in July.

    July 24, 2014

  • Geisinger, Highmark deal moving ahead

    DANVILLE — A five-year extension of the contract between Geisinger Health System and Highmark Inc. won’t be affected by a dispute last year over Highmark allegedly undervaluing Geisinger’s health plan and charging certain plan holders more for care at Geisinger facilities.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pickleball players get game on

    SUNBURY — Jan Dockey has been asking the City Council for three months to consider creating a pickleball court.

    July 24, 2014

  • $23 million sweep under way

    After years of finger-pointing and blame, Northumberland County officials have launched an initiative to try to collect $22.8 million in unpaid fines and restitution from what might be 14,000 cases.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mazzeo a finalist for Middletown post

    Former Sunbury police chief Steve Mazzeo is one of three finalists for the same position in a borough about 65 miles away.

    July 24, 2014

  • rundown25zope.jpg Blighted block going bye-bye in Atlas

    Nearly an entire township block in Atlas will be torn down in Mount Carmel Township, utilizing funds from Northumberland County and its Housing Authority in an effort to fight blight. Half of this block is proposed to be developed as low-income senior living units.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.