NEW WINDSOR – A local tow truck and auto body shop owner has been
arrested by New Windsor Police on 12 counts for allegedly claiming possession
of a Porsche that belonged to a customer who had died.
Police arrested Patrick Torpey, 53, owner of 20th Century Towing and 21st
Century Auto Body on Union Avenue in New Windsor and charged him with
one count each of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument
and perjury, five counts of falsifying business records and four counts
of offering a false instrument for filing.
It is alleged that Torpey had a customer’s 1978 Porsche 911 at his
business for repairs in 2012 when the own unexpectedly died.
In the weeks that followed, Torpey filed a state DMV garageman’s
lien on the car, requiring him to complete the documents for filing. That
generated a new title of ownership for Torpey.
`At the same time, police said the owner’s wife, as administrator
of her husband’s estate, was looking for the vehicle.
It was not until last summer that the car’s whereabouts were rediscovered
and Torpey’s fraudulent activity was revealed. Following his arrest
on Tuesday morning, he was arraigned with bail set at $2,500. He was released
after posting the bail.
The Porsche was recovered from a garage at Torpey’s residence and
brought to the police headquarters pending prosecution.
Assisting in the investigation was the Putnam County District Attorney’s
Office and State Department of Motor Vehicles.