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Police: 81-year-old man's car stolen after fight at Clintonville gas station

Posted at 9:51 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 21:27:53-04

It was just another day of work for Jeremy Merrigan at a Citgo in Clintonville.

But then he saw something unexpected.

"I see a guy run in in front of the building, an older gentleman," he said. "He ran in... frantically screaming 'call 911, somebody just stole my car.'"

Police say Seth Genereau of New London stole an 81-year-old man's black Chrysler Pacifica on Tuesday evening at the gas station on Main Street.

A warrant is out for the suspect's arrest.

"He came in a stolen car, walked around and then stole another car after trying to get into my car," Merrigan said.

21-year-old Genereau is charged with robbery with use of force and operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent — both involve increased penalties for an elder person victim. He's also charged with physical abuse of an elder person and theft.

"Everybody I've told this story to, it's the same thing," Merrigan said. "'I wouldn't expect that here. I wouldn't expect that here.'"

According to the criminal complaint, the suspect told the victim there was something wrong with the back of his vehicle. And when the victim went to check, Genereau jumped into the drivers' seat.

"A physical altercation took place," Clintonville Chief of Police Craig Freitag said. "And the suspect took off in the vehicle. The victim sustained minor injuries."

Clintonville police say the suspect had arrived at the station in another stolen red truck from Hortonville.

"Crime of this nature is not common here in Clintonville or a smaller city, so we take this personal," Freitag said.

Genereau is still on the loose.

"If you do see him, contact your local law enforcement agency," Freitag said. "Give a description of where they're at."

"It's weird and it just blows my mind that in a nice, peaceful town, stuff like that still happens," Merrigan said.

Police say the suspect drove off in the 81-year-old victim's black Chrysler Pacifica, with Michigan plate DWF1599.

If you have any information on Genereau's whereabouts, you're asked to call Clintonville Police at (715) 823-3117 or contact your local authorities.