|(QMI Agency file photo)
That's a lot of coin.
Over the space of eight years, Buffalo parking meter mechanic James Bagarozzo stole $210,000 in quarters which he exchanged for cash at banks during his lunch hour.
On Friday, a judge handed Bagarozzo, who blamed a gambling addiction and an illness he believed would kill him before he built a nest egg for his family, a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
"With all its problems, the last thing the city of Buffalo needs is employees who don't do what they're paid to do," U.S. district judge Richard Arcara was quoted as saying in The Guardian newspaper.
Prosecutors said Bagarozzo spent the first half of every workday stealing from 70 to 75 meters, prosecutors said. Instead of fixing machines, he broke them so quarters would collect on top, where he could grab them with his hands instead of dropping them into the collection canister.
At the time of Bagarozzo's arrest, investigators found $40,000 in cash in the ceiling of his bedroom, $4,100 in a dresser and $3,000 in quarters in closets in bags and boxes around the house.