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Waltham man caught twice in two weeks for allegedly stealing cars, credit cards locally

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 22, 2013 04:10 PM

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A Waltham man who has a criminal history was allegedly caught stealing cars, and the personal items within the vehicles, twice in two weeks, according to Waltham police.

Anthony Taranto, 27, of 78 Harvard St. in Waltham, had allegedly stolen four cars from Waltham residents over the course of December and the beginning of January, said Waltham Police Detective Lieutenant Joseph Brooks.

On Jan. 10, Taranto allegedly stopped at the Petro Plus gas station at 205 Willow St., spending $40 on gas using one stolen credit card, and buying five boxes of cigarettes from the convenience store inside with another stolen card, Brooks said.

Taranto was identified after video footage was distributed to nearby police stations, and was arrested on several charges: four counts of auto theft; three counts of credit card fraud; two counts of larceny, one under $250 and one over $250; and one count of breaking and entering in the nighttime, Brooks said.

Taranta had been targeting cars with unlocked doors that had the keys visible inside, he said.

"The cars he entered were unlocked, and the ones he stole were left unlocked with the keys left on the console where he could access them," Brooks said.

Taranto was held at the Middlesex County jail in Cambridge for two days before being released, Brooks said.

However, in the three days that Taranto was out of jail, he allegedly continued to steal cars and the possessions within: Waltham police allegedly caught Taranto on Jan. 20, crouching underneath the dashboard of a Jeep parked in a residential driveway, Brooks said.

Taranto was arrested with new charges from the few days he had been out of jail, including one count of auto theft; breaking and entering in the nighttime; and two counts of larceny, one over $250 and one under $250, Brooks said.

Taranto was arraigned in Waltham District Court today, officials said.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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