CHATHAM — A Columbia County man was arrested on felony charges Wednesday afternoon for allegedly stealing a car in Chatham, Lt. John Rivero of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said.
Trevor J. Brodowski, 42, of Chatham was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a class D felony, third-degree criminal mischief, a class E felony, third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, a class A misdemeanor, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor, and being an unlicensed driver, a traffic infraction, Rivero said.
Sheriff’s deputies were sent by Columbia County 911 to the Village of Chatham after receiving reports that a man was attempting to gain entry into several parked vehicles. The caller said the man was able to get into a 2018 Mercedes Benz, which had the keys left in it, Rivero said. Brodowski drove away from the scene. Sheriff’s deputies who were on their way to Chatham spotted the stolen vehicle traveling south on Route 66 in the Town of Ghent, Rivero said.
Brodowski initially failed to pull over for police. Deputies were soon able to successfully stop the vehicle and take Brodowski into custody, Rivero said.
Brodowski was arraigned in Chatham Town Court before Justice James Borgia-Forster. He was released on his own recognizance, pending a court appearance at a later date, Rivero said.
To help prevent car theft, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends vehicle owners should always remove ignition keys or fobs from the vehicle, lock doors and windows, put away valuables and park in well-lighted areas if possible.
According to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, thieves nationwide steal an average of 209 vehicles a day because drivers left their keys or fobs in the car.
The NHTSA proclaimed July as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.
Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett praised the work by responding deputies, who quickly located the stolen vehicle and arrest the person responsible for stealing it.
Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were Sgt. Heath Benansky, Deputy Ryen Boehme and Deputy Daniel Keyser.
Once every 43.8 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.