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Slingerlands residents arrested for car thefts

Police say mother and son stole two cars after test drives

Richard Dematteo, 20, and his mother Elizabeth Leonardo, 51, both of Slingerlands.

Richard Dematteo, 20, and his mother Elizabeth Leonardo, 51, both of Slingerlands.

— Bethlehem police have arrested a Slingerlands mother and her adult son for the theft of two cars from Capital District dealerships.

Police said Richard Dematteo, 20, and his mother Elizabeth Leonardo, 51, allegedly stole two cars from Capital District dealerships after asking to go on a test drive. They then allegedly took the keys and the car from the lots.

Police have recovered both a Honda CRV and a Hyundai Veloster during their investigation.

According to police, officers first became aware of the thefts after another theft complaint came in from staff at the Lowe's home improvement store in Glenmont. Dematteo was accused of stealing a copper coil from Lowe's on Monday, April 15, and leaving the scene in the Honda CRV.

The Hyundai Veloster was later found on Wednesday, April 17, in the parking lot of Shot Rite in Slingerlands, said police. The car was connected to several complaints received by the Albany Police Department and Albany County Sheriff's.

The investigation led Bethlehem police to the home of Dematteo and Leonardo, where the Honda was found.

According to police, Dematteo was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and grand larceny fourth degree, both felonies. He was also charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor. Leonardo was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a felony. She was also charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors.

Both Dematteo and Leonardo were sent to Albany County Correctional Facility without bail, police said. The New York State Police, the Albany Police Department, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, and the Niskayuna Police Department assisted with the investigation.

Police said additional charges are likely. Any car dealerships having similar complaints or information are asked to call Bethlehem Detectives at (518) 439-9973.

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