James Hutchinson was taken into custody after his truck was seen at a traffic light at Greenhill and Airport Roads Thursday night.
A generator had been locked and installed at the location to power the traffic signal.
According to police, Hutchinson's car door was open when an officer spotted his truck.
They say Hutchinson told the officer that someone stole the generator in a red Ford Explorer.
The officer did not buy the story and pulled over Hutchinson's truck.
The suspect then admitted he stole the generator, police say.
Hutchinson was charged with theft and receiving stolen property.
The generator was recovered and the traffic signal is now functioning properly again.