Authorities say Lowell Officer Christopher Purtell was getting ready to drive to work just before 1 p.m. Tuesday when he went back into his Dracut home to get something to drink. When he walked back outside, he saw somebody rummaging in his car.
Purtell, in uniform, told the thief to stop.
The thief fled with Purtell in pursuit and the two scuffled. Purtell had to use a chemical spray to subdue the suspect.
The Sun of Lowell reports that 19-year-old Daniel Rondeau is facing a variety of charges for allegedly taking an iPad and a Blackberry from the car.
He was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty.
Information from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, http://www.lowellsun.com