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Man faces identity theft, fraud charges

April 30, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A 58-year-old man was arrested by police in Montgomery County, Md., after he attempted to identify himself as the owner of a car he is accused of stealing from a Waynesboro resident, court records said Thursday.

Dean Criswell Fitz, 58, no fixed address, was charged with running up $3,187.23 on the credit card of the car's owner and withdrawing $6,200 from his bank savings account, police said.

Fitz faces two counts of identity theft and 46 counts of access device fraud, according to an affidavit of probable cause on file in District Justice Larry Pentz's Waynesboro office.

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The car, a 1999 Mercury Marquis, is owned by John P. Silassy of North Church Street, Waynesboro, police said.

Fitz had a key to Silassy's apartment and used Silassy's work identification badge, which he found on a table in the apartment, for identification purposes, court records alleged. He found the key to Silassy's car in the apartment, too, court records said.

Items recovered in the trunk of Silassy's Mercury had Fitz's name on them, court records said. Silassy's savings account passbook and credit card also were found in the car, court records said.

Silassy reported that his car was stolen from his residence sometime during the night of Feb. 14 and Feb. 15.

Montgomery County Police called police in Waynesboro Feb. 17 to report that they found Silassy's car and had Fitz in custody, court records said.

Police in Montgomery County said Fitz came to their station identifying himself as Silassy, court records said.

Fitz later told police that he had stolen the car, according to court records. He also told Montgomery County police that he had withdrawn money from Silassy's bank account and had used his credit card, court records said.

He also used the credit card to pay for hotel rooms in Baltimore and Frederick, Md., court records allege.

Fitz told police in Montgomery County that he needed money to support a cocaine habit that was costing him between $300 and $400 a day, court records allege.

Fitz was arraigned before Pentz and released on a personal recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing for Fitz was scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court in Chambersburg, Pa.

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