December 20, 2014
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Body shop owner accused of damaging cars
Warwick Beacon photo
VIDEO CAUGHT IT ALL: Stephen Davis outside his place of business where, with the installation of surveillance video, he was able to identify the person who was damaging cars. It turned out to be someone he knew.

The owner of Airport Auto Body was arrested on Feb. 1 and charged with five counts of malicious damage after police viewed video surveillance of him “keying” cars at Stevie D’s Automotive at 250 Oakland Beach Ave. in Warwick. Anthony Lombardi, 72, of 45 Gage St., also in Warwick, was arrested at his home around 9:30 p.m.

Stephen Davis called police after he viewed some surveillance video after five more of his cars had been keyed recently and recognized Lombardi who was caught on surveillance camera keying the cars at the dealership.

Davis explained to police that he used to send bodywork to Lombardi’s shop as a kind of informal arrangement between mechanics and other shops.

“Somebody sends work to your shop, you send work to theirs,” Davis said yesterday. “It’s a pretty common thing.”

But Davis said he was outraged when he learned that Lombardi was keying the cars to make work for his shop, which is not accepted professional courtesy among automotive businesses.

Although a scratch on a fender may seem like minor damage, the deep gouges caused with keys require a good deal of work to repair. Davis said sanding, priming, matching colors and creating “invisible” repairs is labor intensive, averaging $1,500 per repair.

But it isn’t just the $7,500 in damage that Lombardi is being charged with.

“I’ve had 35 cars keyed in the last two and a half years, 20 within the last year, and he is only being charged with five of them?” asked Davis.

Davis explained that his insurance has gone up since the key incidents started adding up.

“I used to pay $10,000 a year for insurance for that,” he said. “I now pay $24,000 and I don’t even file a claim because I know it’ll go up more.”

Davis said the insurance does cover the whole business, but he now pays almost 150 percent more for insurance because of the vandalism.

“That’s money he took out of my pocket, from my family,” he said sourly, “and he is getting charged with misdemeanors?”

Aside from being “malicious damage,” Davis said it was a very stupid thing to do. Lombardi’s shop also does work for Avis and that work will dry up after Lombardi’s shop loses its license to do business in Rhode Island.

Davis said Lombardi owns at least two other businesses in Warwick, New England Lemonade and a collectible card shop on West Shore Road, and it is hard to see how they wouldn’t be affected by these charges.

“This guy had no vision,” said Davis, who has sent the five cars that were damaged to three other auto body shops to be repaired.


Comments
9 comments on this item

This is terrible that the victim of a crime is being punished more than the criminal!

Hello, you can't believe one side to the story, things aren't what they seem. The truth will be revealed !!!!!!!

Donna P,

The guy was caught on camera, thats the only side of story I need to see. Lock him up...

What about Stevie D damaging customers cars so he can bill for more work?

What goes around comes around.

I would not take my vehicles there for anything.

Watch the tape, is that what you see, or is that what you want to see, you see a 72 yr.old man who had a stroke, walking between the building and the cars, balancing himself with his hand. WATCH IT AGAIN PEOPLE !!!!!

Are you related to him? I am sure that they knew if there were scratches before he was filmed walking by the cars. Of course it just may be a HUGE coincidence!

HUGE coincidence is right. Read comment 4, through the grapevine, all you hear is things like that, that STEVIE D. does !!!

Maybe your related to him???? He buys scratched cars to do over and SELL !!!!

Sure enough what comes around does go around...definitely Mr Stevie D should not have had that happen but anyone who knows his shop will definitely tell you that he is at the very least is less than a reputable person...He will rip you off without any consideration of caring for his actions...Had one encounter with him many years ago and always knew that he would pay for what he did to me...and for that case many others...i love it!!!!hahahaha

Seems as if there is a lot more to this story

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