"He hasn't had an easy go of it," said Sgt. Peter DiSpagna of the Stamford Police Department of 51-year-old Ramon Hernandez Colon. "He was the victim of a shooting. He was the victim of an industrial accident."
DiSpagna was describing the life of a man who will appear in Stamford courts today on multiple charges of larceny relating to motor vehicle thefts. Police don't think the Valhalla native's difficult life—which includes an engine block crushing his arm and subsequently leading to the loss of a couple of fingers—excuse his behavior.
Today, Colon is set to appear in court because of an alleged car theft scheme. DiSpagna said Colon would set up appointments to test drive vehicles by finding sellers on craigslist or finding vehicles for sale parked along the street with a phone number in the window.
Often times, Colon was showing up to these appointments in the previously stolen car, police said. According to DiSpagna, Colon would win the owners trust by leaving the stolen car at the seller's residence—and then he would simpy never return, new wheels acquired.
"He hit us well about five or six years ago," DiSpagna said. "He was just recently released from jail and went back to his old habits."
Police say Colon's most recent activities began in late February of 2011. After three days of reports of a man taking a car for a test drive and never returning, authorities said they checked up on Colon's last known whereabouts and found out he'd just been paroled.
"He said this is all he knows," DiSpagna said.
Police would often recover the previously stolen car at the scene of the latest crime, they said.
"We called his parol officer," DiSpagna said. Colon then showed up to a meeting with his parol officer in a stolen vehicle and was subsequently arrested in March 2011.
Colon is alleged to have stolen a 1997 Mercury Villager, a 1995 Subaru Legacy, a 1996 Saturn and a 1994 Geo Prism on his latest spree, police said. Authorities said he was using the cars stictly for basic, day-to-day transportation.
"He didn't try to sell them," DiSpagna said. "They were just so he had a ride."
Dating back to 1982, Colon was arrested 16 times. Charges range from more larcenies, some forgeries, an escape—police say a charge probably coming from Colon disappearing form a halfway house. Colon's faced charges in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, DiSpagna said.