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Police: Auto repairman defrauded another customer

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Contributed photoRichard Dick
October 11, 2018 04:45 pm

GREENPORT — A Chatham man was charged with allegedly stealing money a day after he pleaded guilty to stealing $10,000 from customers who paid for auto repairs that were not performed, police said.

Richard A. Dick, 43, was charged Thursday with petty larceny, a class A misdemeanor, according to a statement from the New York State Police.

Dick is accused of taking money from a customer for auto repair work on a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser, including replacement of two front tires, both front-wheel bearings, the right front tire rod and an alignment, according to state police.

The customer allegedly paid Dick under $1,000 for the work. The customer filed a complaint with state police against Dick on Oct. 3, police said.

“Mr. Dick took possession of the complainant’s financial compensation through trickery under false pretense; purporting that all agreed upon work had been completed per the verbal contract and agreement. After a week-long investigation, it was determined that not all the work was completed [and] Mr. Dick was arrested,” according to a statement from state police.

Dick was arrested in connection with the incident a day after he pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree grand larceny, a class D felony; in Columbia County Court in connection to a similar incident in 2017, according to state police.

Dick’s sentencing was scheduled for April 8, according to the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.

Dick’s latest charge is something the court could consider at sentencing along with other relevant factors, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty said Thursday.

Dick’s attorney, William Pretsch, of Kingston, declined to comment.

Dick was first charged June 9, 2017, in Stockport after he allegedly stole more than $10,000 from customers for mechanic services and merchandise they did not receive, according to state police.

“In 2017, Livingston BCI concluded a lengthy investigation into numerous reports of schemes to defraud local victims on car repairs at the hands of Mr. Dick,” Senior Investigator Eric Barnes said Thursday. “The BCI continues to receive reports that Mr. Dick is defrauding people.”

Police are encouraging residents who have been victimized or have information relative to the investigation to call 518-851-2894.

“We are urging anyone that had any work on their cars completed by Mr. Dick to have their vehicles inspected by a licensed facility,” Barnes said. “And, if there are any concerns that they were defrauded, they should contact the [Bureau of Criminal Investigation] immediately.

“It is evident that even after being arrested in 2017, Mr. Dick continues to defraud local residents,” Barnes added.

An investigation into the first incident began in November 2016 after a man contacted state police to report he paid Dick several thousands of dollars for two tractors that he did not receive.

State police investigators determined numerous area residents were victimized by similar schemes from as far back as 2013, state police said.

The fraud schemes were conducted out of Factory Tire Outlet, 133 Rossman Road, Stockport, and Dick’s previous employer, Jack’s Towing, formerly located in Hudson, state police said.

Dick was initially charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, a class E felony; and two counts of third-degree larceny in connection and with the incident, state police said.

The scheme to defraud was dropped and Dick pleaded guilty to the two larceny charges in full satisfaction of the charges, Carty said.

Dick is scheduled to return to court Oct. 29 to answer his most recent criminal charge.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.