Local/State

Lawyer: Work vans theft suspect is innocent

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Antoine Gardiner is charged with receiving stolen property, accused of being part of a ring stealing 20 vans and $500,000 worth of power tools in Delaware County and Philadelphia. But he and his lawyer claim he's innocent.

Concerning the defense about the one count of receiving stolen property, attorney Lawrence Bozzelli told Action News, "I've just been retained today and I don't have any of the police paperwork, I haven't spoken to any of the witnesses, or seen any tape."

But investigators say Gardiner was working in tandem with Joseph Murray and they have the duo on surveillance video.

It allegedly shows multiple work vans being pulled into Gardiner's lot at 51st and Lancaster in the early hours of the morning.

Police say Gardiner is seen taking the equipment out of the vans and then placing it in his Cadillac Escalade.

"We need to look at the video. Obviously, I have just been retained today, but he is the owner of the property and, naturally, he can patrol the property and be on the premises. There is nothing wrong with that," Bozzelli said.

On Tuesday night, we first reported the duo confessed, but police now say only Murray did so. He told detectives Gardiner pressured him to steal more trucks and was involved in more than one of the thefts.

"Joseph Murray was what we are going to identify as one of the main thieves of the trucks and Antoine Gardiner, who I'm going to describe as the fence, he was the guy buying the items," Philadelphia Police Detective Jack Logan said.

Action News first met Gardiner in April of this year after he drove a mortally wounded 17-year-old Bernard Scott to the hospital after finding him on the street.

He was hailed as a Good Samaritan, but now he's under the spotlight for being on the wrong side of the law.

Philadelphia and Delaware County authorities say Gardiner will be facing more charges soon.

For now, he's out on bail. Murray, though, remains behind bars.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
philadelphia news, theft, delaware county news, local/state, chad pradelli
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