Nebraska Dealer, Employees Steal 81 Cars, Face Felony Charges

March 12, 2009

These are the times that try mens'...criminal records. Police arrested Nebraska auto dealer Allen Patch, and employee Rachel Fait, on Wednesday in Utah. The two, plus manager Rick Covello (who turned himself in to authorities today), face felony charges for the theft of 81 vehicles from their Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and Toyota dealership. Just last week, another dealer set fire to four vehicles and promptly expired of a heart attack.

Dealership employees arrived Tuesday morning surprised to find 81 cars missing from their inventory and Patch, Fait, and Covello M.I.A. First suspicions were raised by a Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper reporter who happened to notice and photograph the vehicles being loaded onto car carriers Monday night.

An FBI investigation is gradually revealing the location of the vehicles; seven at Bargain Buggies outside Salt Lake, 16 at Brasher's Salt lake Auto Auction, six parked at the local Nebraska municipal airport, and one sitting in a Wyoming Wal-Mart parking lot. The dealer and both employees were driving brand new pickups when their scheme came to an end.

The dealership, like so many, was facing tough financial situations according to John Childress, chief deputy attorney for Scottsbluff County.

[source: Automotive News]

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