Hermitage and other police charge man in host of crimes

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Police said charges are growing against an Akron, N.Y., man caught driving a stolen 1999 Mercedes convertible on state Route 18 early Tuesday.
Hermitage police charged Jerome J. Brandl, 34, with being a fugitive from justice and receiving stolen property and began checking out a variety of stolen items found in the car.
Brandl is in Mercer County Jail on $250,000 bond pending extradition to Wisconsin in the stolen car case, police said, noting that the car was stolen from a woman in Brookfield, Wis.
Police in Wisconsin have now filed a car theft charge against Brandl. Police in Gillespie, Ill., have filed a charge of theft of camera and radio equipment stolen from a man in their community.
Those items were found in the stolen car, police said.
Nashville and N.Y.: Police in Nashville, Tenn., have filed charges of theft of camera equipment and CDs against Brandl, and New York City police have charged him with impersonating a firefighter to gain access to fire departments in their city as well as with the thefts of a credit card and a camcorder.
Brandl also is suspected of taking disaster relief funds from some New York fire stations.
Police said he is a con man who has defrauded people across the country, recently posing as a firefighter injured at the World Trade Center terrorist attack Sept. 11.

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