Orange County Grand Jury Indicts Three In Auto Theft Ring

Attorney General Spitzer and New York State Police Superintendent Wayne E. Bennett today announced a 35-count indictment stemming from an alleged car theft ring that prowled parking lots and automobile dealerships in Orange County and then sold the cars to unsuspecting buyers on the internet.

Dariusz Grabowski, 36; his brother Krzysztof Grabowski, 25, both of Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania were arrested and arraigned today in Orange County Court and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, both are class "D" felonies;
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and Forgery of a Vehicle Identification Number, both are class "E" felonies; and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class "A" misdemeanor.

As part of the scheme, Dariusz Grabowski claimed to be a licensed locksmith, bypassing security protocols which authorize the production of duplicate keys used in automobile ignitions. The defendants would then use these keys to steal targeted vehicles and would replace their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) with one from a another vehicle. These types of cars are typically referred to as salvaged vehicles, and are often sold for parts after being declared a total loss by an insurance company. The stolen vehicle, re-registered with a "new" VIN" from a salvage vehicle would then be resold.

Dariusz Grabowski was charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree; Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree; 8 counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree; 7 counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree; and 14 counts of Forgery of a Vehicle Identification Number.

Krzysztof Grabowski, was charged with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree; Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree; 5 counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree; 5 counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree; and 10 counts of Forgery of a Vehicle Identification Number.

The Grabowskis were arraigned before Orange County Court Judge Stewart Rosenwasser who entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendants. A third defendant remains at large.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Lynn Tabbott of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Viola Abbitt. The investigation was conducted by New York State Police Investigator Kevin Chorzempa under the supervision of Senior Investigator Michael Rogan, Senior Investigator Brian Meier, Captain Keith Corlett, Captain Wayne Olson and Major John Melville of Troop F in Middletown, New York.

Also participating in the investigation were New York State Attorney General Senior Investigator Royal Remington under the direction of Supervising Investigator David Adams and Deputy Chief James Horton. The Attorney Gerneal additionally thanked James Macri, Bradley Greiner, Michael Navin and Regional Director Thomas Carroll of the National Insurance Crime Bureau for their assistance in the investigation..

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