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Md. man admits to theft of $400,000 in bus fare

Loose change adds up: Here's a criminal who helped pay for a Lincoln Navigator and a fancy house by stealing it.

Maryland Transit Adminstration worker David Mark Pattawi, of White Marsh, admitted in federal court Tuesday that he stole $400,000, largely in quarters, nickles and dimes intended as bus fare while working a transit job.

Pattawi, 36, worked for the MTA from 2001 through 2008. He repaired fare boxes on buses and later worked in radio communications.

When he worked the night shift, authorities said, Pattawi would enter parked buses, open the fare boxes using an electronic key and steal cash.

On Jan. 20, officers saw him walk away from a bus with a fare box that should have held $642.83. When the officers checked, only a few dollar bills were inside.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said Pattawi "treated MTA bus fares as his own personal piggy banks, stealing enough nickels, dimes and quarters to finance an extravagant lifestyle that included a new home and luxury cars."

When police raided Pattawi's house they found coin counters, boxes of paper coin wrappers and more than $9,000 in cash. They also found an fare box electronic key that officials didn't know existed.

Pattawi faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. He's due back in court Feb. 22.

-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  December 15, 2009; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Maria Glod  
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