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Denise Lockwood
Owner of the Racine County Eye

RACINE, WI – A can of Spam and a persistent salesman driving a stolen semi-tractor trailer was charged Friday with two felonies and a misdemeanor, according to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

Murphy Hooks, 61, of Kenosha, was charged with driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, and two bail jumping charges.

If convicted of the charge, he faces up to 12 years, nine months in prison and/or fined up to $30,000.

According to the complaint, officers with the Racine Police Department were called to a report of an unwanted party at 9:04 a.m. Thursday at a BP gas station, 3900 Durand Ave.

Hooks attempted to sell a can of Spam to an employee. When she declined the offer, Hooks cursed at her and knocked candy off the counter and onto the floor. Upset, he took back the Spam back and went into a semi-tractor trailer. The employee called the police because Hooks wasn’t leaving.

When officers questioned Hooks, he denied having any issues with the employee, that he was driving a freezer truck and just trying to deliver the Spam. But there was no freezer in the sleeper cab. Officers checked his license and found that it had been revoked since 2007.

An employee at Advance America, a loan company nearby, also told police that Hooks had been at their business. When they arrived he was no longer there, but he came back a short time later and started banging on the door. During that call, the owners of the truck said it had been stolen from one of their employees.

Hooks denied stealing the truck and refused to speak to the police any further.

During their investigation, officers learned that the truck was stolen from outside a residence in the 1400 block of Charles Street on Wednesday.  The owner of the truck then realized that police had contact with Hooks, a  person he didn’t know but knew that his truck was missing.

Officers noted that Hooks had two previous charges filed against him in Kenosha County for battery, disorderly conduct, and burglary. When he was released from jail, the judge ordered him not to commit any new crimes.

In court Friday, Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a cash bond of $250. A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Dec. 26 at the Racine County Court House, 730 Wisconsin Ave.

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Denise Lockwood

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.