A chop shop is no place for America’s sports car. Unfortunately, that is where at least 17 new and used Corvettes ended up in the 2009 and 2010 at the hands of 74-year-old career car thief, Daniel Ott. Earlier this week Ott was in court for the theft of these vehicles and was sentenced to both jail time and restitution, according to Cleveland’s Real Time News.
Ott was arrested in May 2010 for his crimes after his phone activity was tracked. It was with phone calls that Ott was given orders for certain model years and colors of Corvettes. He would then steal the cars and turn them over to his chop-shop connection for $1,200 each.
We broke the news of this senior’s automotive thefts a year ago, shortly after he was caught in May 2010. Since then, Ott has been held on auto theft charges at the Cuyahoga County Jail. After waiting over a year for his sentence, Ott was given 4 more years in jail and ordered to pay $533,000 in restitution – a bargain compared to the over $600,000 worth of cars he stole in a mere 12 months.
This is not the first run-in with the law for Ott. In fact, he has 14 other auto theft convictions on his record and told authorities he has stolen over 100 Corvettes in his career. Because of his previous convictions, it’s not surprising that U.S. District Judge, Dan Aaron Polster, didn’t play into Ott and his lawyer’s plea for mercy. Ott’s attorney, Carolyn Kucharski, argued that Ott’s failing health, age, nature of his crimes and wife’s health conditions were reasons for a lesser sentence. Unfortunately, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kall, Ott had used these reasons to argue for lesser sentences on three previous auto theft convictions. Ott was sentenced without leniency and was taken from the court room back to jail, waving to his crying wife in the back of the court room.
While Ott’s age, failing health and wife’s conditions are unfortunate, we are glad that he is paying for what he did. While we know there are other car thieves out there aiming for America’s sports car, we can rest a little more soundly knowing that one of these career criminals is off the street for a few more years.