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MERCER In car theft, man forgoes process



Published: Fri, November 16, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



At least three other police departments also have charges against him.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

MERCER, Pa. -- Jerome L. Brandl, 34, of Akron, N.Y., has waived extradition to Wisconsin to face a car-theft charge.

Brandl appeared Thursday before Common Pleas Judge Francis J. Fornelli for an extradition hearing

Brandl, who initially identified himself as Jared Sterling, was arrested in Hermitage early Oct. 30 driving a stolen 1999 Mercedes belonging to a member of the Wisconsin governor's cabinet, police said.

The car was stolen in Brookfield, Wis., police said.

He was lodged in Mercer County Jail on $250,000 bond on a charge of receiving stolen property, and Hermitage police soon found that it wasn't only Wisconsin authorities who were looking for him.

N.Y. firefighters: Police said Brandl roamed the country after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York City, frequently purporting to be a New York firefighter injured in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

He did spend time in New York befriending firefighters and is suspected of stealing disaster-relief funds from some New York fire stations, police said.

Police in New York have charged him with impersonating a firefighter and with the thefts of a credit card and a camcorder.

Police in Gillespie, Ill., have filed charges against him in the theft of a camera and radio equipment found in the stolen Mercedes.

Police in Nashville, Tenn., have filed charges of theft of camera equipment and CDs against Brandl.

Wisconsin will be the first to get him and Hermitage police have dropped their charge against him, said a spokeswoman for the Mercer County district attorney's office.

First to file: Wisconsin was the first state to file extradition papers against Brandl, she said. Authorities there are expected to pick him up within 10 days.




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