Former mayoral candidate faces car break-in charge
PITTSFIELD >> A former Mayoral candidate — still facing a criminal charge for allegedly threatening to shoot a city employee — has now been charged with breaking into a motor vehicle with the intent to commit a felony.
Craig C. Gaetani, 68, of West Street said via telephone Friday he had not yet been made aware of the charge pending against him but adamantly denied the accusation, calling it, "nonsense."
Gaetani is accused of breaking into a parked car and removing its title from inside.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on that charge on Aug. 16.
A show-cause hearing in the matter was held on July 28 and probable cause was found to move the case forward.
Gaetani did not appear at that hearing, according to court records.
Gaetani said Friday he had not received notice of the hearing and that's why he failed to appear.
According to police, on June 24, a woman reported a possible break-in to a broken-down vehicle on Madison Avenue.
The woman told police she was sent the keys from her granddaughter, who had recently moved out of state, and was asked to retrieve the title from the glove box for her so she could make arrangements to have the car towed off of the property.
While she was looking in the car for the title, the woman was told by a neighbor that Gaetani had approached him and asked to borrow tools or a coat hanger to get into the car, because it belonged to him.
When the first person couldn't help him, Gaetani went to a second house, hoping to borrow an instrument to open the car.
The man who lent the hanger, told police he misheard Gaetani's last name when he introduced himself and thought he was a relative of the woman who owns the car.
Gaetani said Friday the people to whom he sold the car stopped making payments and transferred the title to the younger woman improperly and he was still the owner of the car.
Witnesses didn't see Gaetani use the hanger to get inside the car, but did see him leave the area with the title.
Gaetani said he found one of the car's doors unlocked and didn't need to use the hanger to enter.
According to a police report, when they spoke with Gaetani, he told them there was an agreement to reclaim the car and the title would be left on the passenger seat for him.
On Friday Gaetani said he made no such statement to police.
Gaetani said he had made several attempts to contact the people involved in the dispute and had driven by the car four or five times, but it was kept under a tarp.
He said on the morning of June 24, he saw the car uncovered and saw an envelope on the front passenger seat and assumed it was the title left out for him.
A conviction on a charge of breaking and entering into a motor vehicle during the daytime with the intent to commit a felony carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in state prison or two years in jail and a $500 fine.
Meanwhile, Gaetani still faces a charge of threatening to commit a crime for allegedly threatening to shoot a city employee during a series of harassing phone calls in July 2015.
The next date in that case is Dec. 5.
Gaetani has also filed a civil suit in Berkshire Superior Court seeking to have the construction of the new Taconic High School halted.
A motion to dismiss that case is scheduled to be heard on Aug. 10.
Gaetani denied that is the purpose of that hearing.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.