Parking meter mechanic steals $210k in change

Lindsay Jolivet

One handful of quarters at a time, a Buffalo, NY parking meter mechanic stole the money that grew to a mountain of change — a mound of evidence that landed him in front of a judge for sentencing last week.

Associated Press reported James Bagarozzo spent more than eight years stealing coins from parking meters while working as a mechanic for the city, fueling a gambling addiction by squirreling away the stolen change.

[ Related: Boston woman pays half a million dollars for two parking spaces ]

By the time he was caught, Bagarozzo had collected $210,000 in quarters, according to the news wire. He rolled and cashed some of the money at the bank, but police also found $40,000 hidden in the ceiling above his bedroom and other change stashed around his house.

Surveillance video shows him pulling handfulls of quarters out of his pockets and hiding them in a bag in his vehicle.

Bagarozzo's lawyer said his client suffered from Crohn's disease and he was worried about leaving money for his family if he died. However, he said Bagarozzo also spent much of the money at casinos.

A judge sentenced Bagarozzo to two and a half years in prison for the long-time scheme, according to the Associated Press.

No word if he paid his legal fees in quarters.