Meter mechanic steals over five tons of quarters in ten years


From the moment 58-year-old parking meter mechanic James Bagarozzo began his scheme to steal from the machines, his life became overrun with quarters. He stashed them in his pockets, in a sack in his truck, in closets at his house.

Over more than eight years, he brought home $210,000 worth of quarters -- 10,500 pounds of them -- which he dutifully rolled and packed in $500 boxes to be exchanged for cash at banks on his lunch hour.

In court papers, defense attorney James Harrington wrote that Bagarozzo's stealing began in 2003 following a serious episode of Crohn's disease that left him believing he did not have long to live.

"He said he was worried about his wife and two teenage daughters and that they would have little if he died," the lawyer wrote.

On Friday, Buffalo, NY District Judge Richard Arcara imposed a 2 1/2-year sentence on Bagarozzo.

From 2003 through 2011, the meter mechanic spent the first half of every workday breaking from 70 to 75 meters, so that quarters would collect on top where he could grab them with his hands instead of dropping into the collection canister.

A former co-worker, Lawrence Charles, followed Bagarozzo's lead, stealing $15,000 in quarters over about five years, prosecutors said. He was expected to get six months to a year in prison. His sentencing also was supposed to be Friday, but it was postponed until Aug. 29.

Since the arrests, the city's annual parking meter revenue has increased by more than $500,000, Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer said.

Prosecutors said the money allowed Bagarozzo to send his daughters to college and pay off his mortgage, but his attorney said virtually everything was lost at casinos.

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Recent Comments »

HaoleBoy site profile image  

8/21/13 2:40 PM by HaoleBoy

he probably has quarters under the floor boards and in the wallsand all day now to dig them up

Yossarian site profile image  

8/19/13 10:06 PM by Yossarian

Should have called Saul.

quick site profile image  

8/19/13 10:05 PM by quick

The guy does all that and just gets home confinement. That bastard is all kinds of lucky.

PR site profile image  

8/19/13 10:04 PM by PR

Branches at my credit union would/should/are supposed to file a suspicious transaction report when shit like that happens

edwims site profile image  

8/19/13 9:58 PM by edwims

He doesn't need a criminal lawyer, he needs a CRIMINAL lawyer

sicko site profile image  

8/19/13 9:33 PM by sicko

He probably would have, but he never got passed Season 2 of Breaking Bad, so he never saw the idea to buy the car wash

CharlesLewis site profile image  

8/19/13 8:15 PM by CharlesLewis

or arcade

Chareth Cutestory site profile image  

8/19/13 8:03 PM by Chareth Cutestory

"The employees came under scrutiny in 2011 after Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer noticed the city's new computerized pay stations were bringing in far more money than the old quarter-fed parking meters."What may have begun as a theft of nickels and dimes, in the end was the equivalent of a major bank heist," U.S. Attorney William Hochul said.Since the arrests, the city's annual parking meter revenue has increased by more than $500,000, Helfer said."Employees, arrests, plural.

flowerfeeder site profile image  

8/19/13 7:53 PM by flowerfeeder

Oh shit. That's right. Way worse than I figured. lol(I had to take remedial math in college.)

checkuroil site profile image  

8/19/13 2:34 PM by checkuroil

Should have used that money to buy a laundromat and laundered it through there