A 67-year-old Rockport man pleaded not guilty Monday morning in Rockland District Court to a charge that he stole a remote control helicopter from a local store. He has admitted to taking the toy when he could not get his money back or get a replacement for the broken helicopter he had purchased earlier.

Michael Crane appeared in court Monday morning as part of a large number of arraignments on the docket. It was explained that he is accused of theft from Coastal Hobbies in Rockport stemming from the Nov. 28 incident. Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Jones said the District Attorney’s Office is seeking restitution for the remote control helicopter and there would have been a small fine as well if Crane had pleaded guilty.

Crane said he was not guilty. Judge Michael Westcott set the date for a bench trial on the matter for Feb. 11, though Crane could request a jury trial.

Westcott warned he might change the fine proposed by the District Attorney’s Office, increasing it from $250 to $500.

“I would jack that fine up dramatically,” he said.

No fine was set since Crane’s case will go on to a trial.

The judge explained to those being arraigned what the charges were and what penalties they would face if they pleaded guilty or no contest and that everyone being arraigned had the right to a trial or jury trial or to speak with attorneys before pleading.

Crane has said in previous comments that he is not contesting that he took a package with a remote control helicopter from Coastal Hobbies in Rockport on Nov. 28. He said he made it known to the store’s owner that he was taking it to replace the exact same toy he had bought there that did not work.

Crane said he had bought the $220 remote control helicopter as a combined birthday and Christmas present for his 10-year-old grandson. When he saw his grandson the next time, the boy told him the helicopter would not work.

The Rockport man said he took the helicopter back to the store and was told it would need to be repaired but there was no timetable for when that would be done. He said he asked for his money back or to get another helicopter from the shelf but was told by the owner that it was against the store’s policy.

Crane said he left but went home and watched the Clint Eastwood movie “A Fistful of Dollars” and that motivated him to return and demand his money back or a replacement helicopter. When he was told no again, Crane said, he gave the owner three options — Crane would get a refund or another helicopter or he would take a helicopter from the shelf and leave.

When the owner warned him against that, Crane said he took another helicopter from the store in front of the owner and left the store. The owner followed him out and wrote down his license plate number. Crane said he stayed in the parking lot until the owner had time to write down the license number.

Coastal Hobbies owner Kent Woodward said Crane’s version of what happened is largely correct. He said, however, that on Crane’s return on Nov. 28, he was told the part would arrive and he would have the original helicopter back in working order by Dec. 4. Crane said Monday outside the courtroom he was never told when it would be completed.

Woodward was present in the courtroom Monday. Standing outside the courtroom after Crane pleaded, Woodward said, “I think he’s just pushing his own ego. … What is he teaching his grandson?”

Woodward has said previously there are signs throughout the store, including at the counter, that state the return policies. He said refunds or replacements will be given if a package has not been opened and is brought back within 30 days. But, he said, if the packaging is removed and items are taken out of sealed plastic, the manufacturer’s warranty will be used.

Crane said that Woodward’s wife, co-owner Rose Woodward, had opened the package to show the contents to Crane at the time he purchased the original toy, so he should not be held responsible for taking it out of its package.

Standing outside the courtroom, Woodward said Crane thinks everyone needs to be like Wal-Mart.

“Bigger stores take anything back,” he said. “We have one or two of an item in stock.”

He added that in the 12 years he has been in business, there has never been a problem like this with the return policy.

“Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe in,” Crane said.

He said that when one buys something from a store, one assumes it’s going to work. He said he had paid $220 for the helicopter and had returned the broken one before taking the new one. Crane said that if he is forced to pay restitution to the store, he will have to pay for the helicopter twice.

Crane is retired. He used to build houses for a living in Vermont. He moved to the Midcoast in 2005.

When asked if he will request a jury trial, he said, “I don’t want to waste the state’s money.” He said he wants the charges dropped.

When asked what he will do as the case moves forward, he said he would need to talk to somebody and he may settle for a bench trial where there is no jury and the judge decides the case.