Long used car test drive leads to charges

Long used car test drive leads to charges


westport-police-station - stockimageA Bristol man’s test drive at a Westport used car dealership started badly when he grazed another car on the way out of the lot.

It went worse when he didn’t return from his test drive until 90 minutes later.

And it went worse still when police discovered that the car he had driven to Westport for the test drive had been reported stolen by a Middletown rental car company.

Westport Police were called to 3D Auto Sales, 575 State Road, Westport, at 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, for a report of a disturbance.

There they encountered an angry dispute between employees and a man identified as 74-year-old Frank T. Canario, 201 Metacom Ave., Bristol.

Police were told that Mr. Canario had showed up in a Chevrolet Impala and asked to take a car at the EZ lot (no report of brand) for a test drive. Just a few feet into that test drive he struck another car in the lot — an employee told him not to worry about it because the impact was not serious.

But the 3D Auto staff was less pleased when Mr. Canario didn’t return from his test drive for an hour and a half (number of miles not reported). A dispute ensued and police were called.

A check of the Impala that Mr. Canario had driven in revealed that it had been reported stolen from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Middletown. Police also discovered a Taunton warrant for Mr. Canario’s arrest.

He was arrested on that warrant as well as on charges of receiving stolen property over $250 and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.


  1. A one-man, lifetime, crime wave! From the Cranston Herald


    Officer Christopher Leclair reported the theft of a 1978 Mercedes Benz 450SL from Miracle Car Wash and Auto Sales on April 17. He said he spoke with the owner and an employee who told him they came to work that morning and saw that the classic sports car was gone from the lot. They also told him there had been only one person who was interested in the car within the last few weeks and his name was Frank Canario. They said they gave him the keys to the car on April 15 so that he could do a closer inspection of the car. They told Leclair they looked at the keys as soon as they realized the car was gone and found a key on the ring that did not belong to the car and surmised that Canario swapped out the key and took the one for the Benz and came back to steal it the night before. They said they believed the man seen taking the car on the video surveillance they had from April 16 was Canario.

    Another officer followed up on Leclair’s report later and viewed the video and took a statement from the witnesses saying that Canario told them he was recently out of the ACI and Officer Albion Imondi showed the witnesses a picture of Canario he got from the Department of Corrections. They both said it was the same man. Imondi said probable cause existed to charge Canario with the theft. On April 21, Officer David Cragin reported he was sent to Bristol Police headquarters to take custody of Frank Thomas Canario, 74, of 201 Metacom Ave., Bristol, and bring him to Cranston, where he was charged with auto theft. Bristol Police had already charged him with possession of stolen goods. The car was recovered at Canario’s residence with no apparent damage. He was held without bail on probation and bail violations. Cragin reported that Canario told him he did not wish to speak with him on the way or at headquarters.

  2. Well, if it was late fall i’d say he was just looking for a bed for the winter. What was this guy thinking. What is any used car lot employee thinking, giving the keys out to a 74 yr old man, or anyone for that matter, and not escorting him\them on the test drive. After he hits a car in the parking lot pulling out for god’s sake, they still allowed him to drive a car off the lot. What’s really mind boggling is, he apparently didn’t have a license. This is one of the weirdest stories I’ve read in a long time.