Police: Man demolishes warehouse full of Harleys

Sean Philip Cotter

Police say a Chester County man who was supposed to be plowing a Conewago Township warehouse's parking lot Sunday instead stole a truck and tried to run down a couple of employees in the midst of doing an "astronomical" amount of damage to the building's contents, which included a bunch of Harley-Davidsons.

Robert Fisher

Robert W. Fisher, 25, of Honey Brook, is charged with two first-degree felony counts of aggravated assault, as well as two third-degree felony counts of theft and one of criminal mischief, plus misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and criminal trespass, according to the criminal complaint Northern Regional Police filed against him Sunday.

Northern Regional Police Officer Daniel Zimmerman, who filed the charges, arrived at the Crane Freight warehouse at 275 Cross Farm Lane around 5:20 p.m. Sunday to a "scene of damage unlike any (Zimmerman) had ever seen before," the officer wrote in the charging documents.

He quickly found Fisher and took him into custody with no problem, according to documents.

"I asked Fisher what was going on (and) he advised he was just looking for a place to take a 'piss,'" the officer wrote. Zimmerman said he put Fisher in his cruiser so he could sort out what happened at the warehouse, where Harley-Davidson motorcycles are held before being shipped around the country.

Zimmerman was later told that Fisher had been supposed to be plowing the warehouse's parking lot after Saturday's big snowstorm and didn't have permission to be in the warehouse, documents state.

The officer talked to a security guard there, who told Zimmerman he was sitting in his office when he heard a truck start up at the north side of the building and then the sound of it hitting "numerous" motorcycles. The truck then turned toward the security guard's office and almost hit the guard, police say.

The officer also tracked down the employee who'd called 911; he said he was coming into work and had opened the door into the warehouse, only to find Fisher bearing down on him in the "jockey" truck, documents state. Police say the man told them he "quickly exited the building again" through the door he had just entered.

The man said he heard a big "bang" from inside the warehouse, so he went back inside and saw that Fisher had crashed the truck into some Harley-Davidsons, police say. That disabled the truck, so Fisher got out of it and left toward the south side of the building, police say.

Security video footage showed Fisher get into the truck and drive around the warehouse, hitting motorcycles and other items around the building, documents state. Police allege it also shows Fisher stopping after a while to ditch the truck in favor of a forklift, which he started driving toward an open bay door. They say he jumped out again just before the forklift tumbled off the dock, and hopped back into the truck to pick up where he'd left off on what Zimmerman described as "his joy ride."

Zimmerman wrote that the damage to the motorcycles, forklift, truck and other items was "astronomical;"  he said the manager estimated it at least half a million dollars.

He wrote that the true estimate would take a while to figure out. No one answered the phone Wednesday evening at Crane Freight, and the voicemail box was full.

Fisher remains free in lieu of $30,000 bail, according to online court records.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com.