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3 indicted in theft of items from GM plant

Published: Sat, February 26, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.

Staff report


Three people have been indicted on felony charges of receiving stolen property in connection with various types of Chevrolet and Pontiac nameplates, emblems and other items police found in their homes that were stolen from the Lordstown General Motors Complex.

Dennis Bruner, 41, a GM hourly worker, and his wife, Jaime Bruner, 33, both of Wolcott Drive, Boardman, were indicted in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 17 after police seized more than 4,400 items from their home.

Police estimate the value of the items seized and items Jaime Bruner sold on eBay to be “well over a couple hundred thousand dollars,” said Chris Bordonaro, a Lordstown police detective.

The items included all types of car emblems made for Pontiac G5s and Chevrolet Cobalts, including “SS,” “G5,” “turbocharged,” “Pontiac,” “GM Performance” and the Chevrolet “Bow Tie,” Bordonaro said.

Also found were tire-pressure sensors, wheel center caps for Pontiac and Chevrolet, gas caps and an engine-control module.

John Lavalliere, 54, of 915 Ridge Road, Vienna, was indicted in late December 2010 by a Trumbull County grand jury on one count of receiving stolen property and one count of theft. Lavalliere worked as a security guard at the plant.

During the serving of a search warrant at Lavalliere’s home, more than 200 Chevy and Pontiac car emblems were seized. That total does not include the number Lavalliere had sold on eBay, Bordonaro said.

The Lordstown Police Department began an investigation in December 2009 when General Motors notified the department that, based on an internal audit, several types of parts were missing from the complex.

It was discovered that some of the parts were being sold on eBay. These individuals were identified, and search warrants were obtained in both Trumbull and Mahoning counties, Bordonaro said.

Each of the charges carries a possible penalty of up to a year in prison.

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