A former Hanson police chief and his wife are scheduled to be arraigned on shoplifting charges in Hingham District Court on April 2.
Hingham police allege that Edward F. Savage III and his wife, Christine P. Savage, stole $405 worth of clothing from a Kohl’s department store in Hingham last April.
Surveillance footage appeared to show Edward Savage, the former police chief, taking clothes off the racks and display tables, carefully folding them into the bottom of a shopping cart, and bringing the clothes to his wife. Christine Savage then allegedly took the carriage into the women’s dressing room and came out with the clothes tucked underneath an empty Kohl’s bag. They then left the store, when they were stopped by the store’s security and asked to return the items.
The couple told police it was a mistake. Christine said she was simply returning to her vehicle to retrieve her purse.
The Savages almost avoided being arraigned on the charges. At a closed-door hearing, former Hingham District Court Clerk-Magistrate Joseph Ligotti said he would dismiss the request for charges in February on the condition that the couple write letters of apology to Kohl’s and the police, stay away from the store, and remain out of trouble.
But Acting Clerk-Magistrate Andrew Quigley later issued the charges after learning that the couple never wrote the letters of apology. The Savages each face one charge of shoplifting more than $100 by concealing merchandise, a misdemeanor.
The Savages could not be reached for comment.
Hingham police Sergeant Steven Dearth, who represents the Police Department in many court hearings, said he did not realize Edward Savage was a former police chief at the time. He said the disposition in the case was not uncommon for people without a prior criminal record.
Edward Savage resigned as Hanson police chief in 2012 after he faced a raft of accusations, including complaints that he provided misleading crime statistics, allowed a local mechanic to work on private cars at the police station (including his own), and used his officers to do coursework for college classes he was taking to boost his pay.Todd Wallack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.