By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT — A bus company worker accused of swiping a credit card from his former employer and spending more than $50,000 over a period a several weeks pleaded guilty to 11 felony charges yesterday at Newburyport District Court and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail.
Christopher R. Day, 26, 20 Proctor St., Peabody, was charged last May with one count of larceny over $250 and 10 counts of improper use of a credit card over $250. All but 60 days of jail time was suspended for three years while on probation. During that time, Day must remain drug- and alcohol-free with random screens and attend substance abuse counseling.
Police believe Day, who worked in the information technology department for North Reading Transportation, a Methuen-based school bus company with a facility in Newbury, obtained the credit card without anyone else’s knowledge and began purchasing large quantities of software. Once the software arrived, Day would sell it to customers.
Day’s alleged activities caught the attention of North Reading Transportation house investigator and former Rowley police Chief Kevin Barry, who alerted police in late April 2013. Newbury Detective Aaron Wojtkowski began an investigation and after speaking to the suspect and others, filed charges about 10 days later.
According to Wotjkowski, the suspect had been hired by the company as recently as January 2013 and had been using the credit card for about six weeks before charges were filed.
Owned and operated by John McCarthy, North Reading Transportation was founded in 1988. Today the company’s fleet consists of roughly 670 school transportation vehicles and has contracts with dozens of Eastern Massachusetts school systems including Trition Regional School District, Masconomet Regional School District, Lawrence, Methuen, Amesbury, Chelmsford, Wakefield, Wilmington and Lowell. It also serves Boston College, the Beverly School for the Deaf and the Solstice School in Rowley.