Monday, April 6, 2009

Fugitive Accused of Forgery - The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY

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A former Delaware County man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly forging a check at Wal-Mart last fall to buy two laptops, purportedly for a fire department raffle.

Paul A. Vitti, 28, of Howard Beach and Indianapolis, stole a checkbook from a Franklin residence he was renting in November and forged a check at the Oneonta Wal-Mart for more than $1,000, Otsego deputies said in a media release.

Vitti, who is not a firefighter, portrayed himself as such when he bought the computers, deputies said.

Delaware deputies received a complaint about a checkbook theft from a state Route 357 residence in December.

Vitti, wanted by Yuma, Ariz., authorities for alleged identity theft, was arrested in Lansing, Mich., on March 23. Arizona authorities declined to extradite Vitti, but Otsego County deputies pursued extradition to New York, deputies said.

Vitti was charged Wednesday with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and fourth-degree grand larceny, which are both felonies. He was arraigned in Oneonta Town Court and sent to Otsego County jail on $50,000 bail. Vitti is slated to reappear April 30 in court for further proceedings.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office, the Otsego County District Attorney's Office, the Indiana State Police Criminal Investigation Division and the Oneonta Wal-Mart Loss Prevention Unit assisted with the investigation.