Accused York Haven motorcycle thief allegedly flees from cops

A man accused of stealing a motorcycle he was taking for a "test ride" is also accused of fleeing from cops who tried to arrest him, according to authorities.

Newberry Township Police say Richard Eugene Stitzel Jr., 34, was spotted driving his dad's car on Saturday, Oct. 6, and fled from authorities in it.

Stitzel, of the 700 block of Second Avenue, Newberry Township, was taken into custody Wednesday, Oct. 10, according to online court records. He is charged with theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fleeing or attempting to elude officer and summary traffic violations.

Richard Stitzel

Theft: According to police, Stitzel met with a man at the Hotel Haven in York Haven around 9:15 p.m. Aug. 9.

That man, police said, was fixing up a motorcycle, and Stitzel was interested in buying the motorcycle.

Stitzel walked with the man up to the man's girlfriend's house in the first block of Locust Street, where the motorcycle was being stored, and Stitzel asked the man if he could take the motorcycle for a test ride, court documents state.

The man knew it wasn't legal to let Stitzel drive it, but he let him do it, thinking he would only ride it around to block, officials said.

Stitzel rode off and didn't return, according to charging documents. Police say the man waited for 45 minutes before calling police. He hoped Stitzel would have returned with the motorcycle, police said.

Spotted: Stitzel had been on the lam for almost two months when he was spotted the morning of Saturday, Oct. 6, documents state.

Police say he was spotted driving his father's 1996 Pontiac Firebird near the post office in Goldsboro. He was headed to his father's house in the 700 block of Second Avenue, documents state.

An officer who was headed there spotted the vehicle traveling west on Pennsylvania Avenue and saw Stitzel driving the car, court documents state.

The officer turned around and turned on his lights and sirens to pull over Stitzel, but Stitzel turned left onto South Landvale Street at a high rate of speed, police said. 

While fleeing, he passed another vehicle and successfully got away from the officer, charging documents state.

The officer couldn't see Stitzel anymore, so he stopped trying to follow him, police said.

That officer spoke to Stitzel's father, who said Stitzel was not given permission to drive the car, court documents state.Police also say Stitzel has a suspended license.

Stitzel was arraigned on the charges Wednesday morning. He remains in York County Prison on $35,000 bail.

He does not have an attorney listed.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22 at District Judge Scott Gross' office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.