ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - The owner of a towing company near Ormond Beach and an employee were arrested after stripping a wrecked car on their property and stealing the victim's personal belongings that had been left inside, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said business owner James Pascarelli, 64, and his employee Kirk Luckett, 52, were arrested Monday on charges of principle to grand theft and knowingly giving false information to a law enforcement officer.
Pascarelli owns AA Accurate on 1644 N. U.S. Hwy 1, where the car, a 1995 Ford Mustang, was towed
and stored after a traffic accident in late December, deputies said.
The day after the crash, deputies said the car owner went to AA Accurate to get a child's car seat from the vehicle. Other than the accident damage, the Mustang was intact.
However, investigators said on Monday she returned to get the remaining personal items that had been left in the car only to discover that her case containing 100 CDs was missing and the car had been stripped.
The victim reported the theft to deputies, who found that the speedometer cluster, the stereo, speakers, mirrors and taillights were gone.
Deputies said they spoke with Pascarelli on Monday, who handed over a bag containing the missing CDs and stereo speakers.
Investigators said Pascarelli claimed that Luckett was walking through the compound and spotted an unknown man near the wooded, unfenced back of the lot carrying the bag. He said Luckett yelled at the man who dropped the bag and fled. Deputies said they then talked to Luckett who told the same story.
However, when deputies inspected the area where the confrontation allegedly happened, they said they didn't find any evidence that corroborated the story.
When deputies talked to Luckett again, he admitted that he was the one who stripped the car and took the CDs. Luckett told deputies that he had asked Pascarelli for permission to remove the items and he agreed, but only after the insurance company was finished with the car.
When confronted by deputies again, Pascarelli claimed that Luckett didn't have his permission to take the items. He claimed that once he had realized the equipment was taken, he confronted Luckett and told him to return it all.
Deputies said Pascarelli believed that if the items were returned, there would be no issue.
Pascarelli also admitted to lying to deputies, investigators said.
Luckett and Pascarelli were transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach without incident, deputies said.