Undercover Operation Ends in Arrests in Honda Tire Thefts Case

Police in towns across Connecticut and beyond are investigating similar crimes.

By LeAnne Gendreau
|  Monday, Apr 1, 2013  |  Updated 8:48 AM EDT
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Undercover Operation Ends in Arrests in Honda Tire Thefts Case

Damian Liberda and Athanasios Hasiotis have been charged in connection with thefts of tires and rims from a Branford Honda dealershop and thing they might be behind additional thefts of wheels from other dealerships.

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After hours of surveillance, using night vision and new encrypted radio communications equipment, Branford Police have arrested two men suspected of stealing tires early on Saturday morning, and hope the arrests end a spree of thefts from a Honda dealerships in Branford, as well as throughout the Connecticut and the tri-state area.

Over the month of March, Branford police investigated three thefts or attempted thefts of tires and rims from Brandfon Honda, at 515 West Main Street, and said police departments in Wallingford, Milford and Watertown have all investigated similar thefts from Honda dealerships.

As investigators analyzed the crimes, they determined that all the thefts were occurring on Friday and Saturday nights, or during the early morning hours, and that an older model tan Nissan Altima was involved in the Watertown thefts, police said.

Late Friday evening, Branford Police, armed with night vision and new encrypted radio communications equipment, set up surveillance at Brandfon Honda.

Around 3 a.m. on Saturday, police saw a tan Nissan enter Jefferson Road and park by the side of the Brandfon dealership and watched as two men entered the property and removed tires and rims from a new Honda parked on the dealer’s lot, police said.

Moments later, police apprehended and arrested Damian Liberda, 31, and Athanasios Hasiotis, 29, both of Berlin.

Liberda was charged with third-degree criminal attempt to commit larceny, Conspiracy to third-degree commit larceny and third-degree criminal trespass.

Police said Liberda has an extensive criminal history of similar crimes and has two pending cases from Danbury and Canton. He is being held on a $15,000 bond and will be arraigned in New Haven court on Monday morning.
The New Times reports that Liberda was also arrested in March, accused of trying to steal thousands of dollars worth of wheels and tires from a car dealership in Danbury.  http://www.newstimes.com/policereports/article/Two-charged-with-attempted-parts-theft-4368249.php

Hasiotis was charged with third-degree criminal attempt to commit larceny and third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny. He was released on a $1,500 bond.
 

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