Local classic car thief sent to jail again

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A notorious classic car thief is sent to jail yet again. This time, it looks like it’s the end of the road for the convicted Schenectady scammer.

Fred Perillo shouted a stream of expletives at us as he made his way into the Schenectady County Courthouse.

He’s been here many times before, but Monday may be the end of the road.

Fred Perillo is accused of selling dozens of classic cars he didn’t own, stealing the vehicles people paid him to store at his State Street garage.

According to court documents, Perillo got away with the thefts by replacing VIN numbers with ones from junked cars, then forging the owner’s signatures.

Carmen Montanaro, a victim, says he and his uncle Ralph Petrock stored their classic cars at Perillo’s garage when one day all of a sudden they vanished.

“Twenty-two cars and he changed VIN tags, he signed titles and he just thinks in his mind he can keep getting away with it.”

James Belcher is another victim, he says he paid Perillo $10,000 for parts and repairs to his Chevy Chevelle.

“Two years later the car was still in pieces.”

During a 2015 bench trial, a judge found Perillo guilty of several felony charges including grand larceny.

For two years, he’s remained free filing for appeal after appeal.

Moments before his second sentencing, he says he’s ill and disabled.

“I’m 100 percent veteran from Vietnam and 100 percent disabled. No justice at all and I’m innocent of the whole thing.”

Perillo would not comment further.

Yet, his victims long claimed the wheelchair, eye patch and helmet are all part of an elaborate act for the judge.

Carmen says he took this video of Perillo over the summer, where he’s seen standing upright outside of a friend’s SUV.

There’s also security video from a neighboring auto dealer taken just two weeks ago.

The dealer says Fred can be seen setting up a wooden barrier outside of his lot, moving fine on his own. It’s something the investigator on the case worked hard to prove.

It may be the end of the road for Fred Perillo. After exhausting his appeals, the judge sentenced him to jail without bail until his April restitution hearing.

Carmen and James don’t think they ever get back what was stolen from them. Yet, Carmen whose uncle died in a car crash last year says he is doing this for him.

“I just hope this is the end of it and we can get back what’s ours,” Montanaro said.

Fred Perillo is in jail expected to begin his prison term of five-and-a-half to 11 years.

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