Man arrested as part of car theft ring pleads guilty

September 29, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A third member of a theft ring alleged to have stolen about 20 vehicles from Columbia last winter pleaded guilty yesterday in Howard Circuit Court to four charges for his role in the thefts.

Charles William Danzer of the 9300 block of Many Flowers Lane in Jessup accepted a plea agreement in connection with two counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle, being a rogue and vagabond, and theft for possessing stolen property.

Danzer, 19, will be sentenced by Judge James Dudley Nov. 22, pending a report by the county Department of Parole and Probation.

The plea agreement reached yesterday did not specify the length of any prison sentence Danzer might receive. The charges he pleaded guilty to carry a combined maximum sentence of 26 years in prison.

Danzer also could be required to pay restitution to the owners of stolen vehicles that were damaged by him and his co-defendants.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution dropped multiple counts of theft, attempted theft, malicious destruction and additional counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The prosecution contends that Danzer belonged to a club called the Low Riders, members of which stole about 20 vehicles and attempted to steal six others last December and January.

Most of the vehicles stolen by the group were four-wheel-drive Jeep Cherokees and Chevrolet Blazers.

Adam Matthew Fattori, 19, of Columbia was sentenced this month to two years in prison for the thefts. In August, Alexi Martinez, 18, of Columbia was sentenced to one year in prison for his role.

A 16-year-old boy was prosecuted in juvenile court. The outcomes of juvenile cases are not disclosed.

Three other members of the club -- including the alleged leaders of the theft ring, Christopher James Peca, 18, and Keith Richard Burton, 18, of Columbia -- are scheduled for trials in October and November.

Assistant State's Attorney Daniel Vaccaro told Judge Dudley that after he was arrested Jan. 25, Danzer confessed to police that he was involved in the theft ring.

To support the unauthorized-use charges in the plea agreement, Mr. Vaccaro said Danzer was a passenger in two vehicles that were stolen in Columbia on Christmas Day.

In another incident, a county patrolman saw Danzer and several other defendants at a Geo Tracker parked in a lot off Greenfield Road in Columbia in the early morning hours of Jan. 5, Mr. Vaccaro said.

The officer stopped the group, searched Danzer's vehicle and found a stolen cellular telephone and a radar detector. Danzer told the officer he had bought the equipment outside Hammond High School on Jan. 4 from a man he didn't know.

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