No one can blame Riverside County parolee and wannabe office-supply thief Lorenzo Joseph Ciaramella for lack of creativity. Interest in local politics, even!
Apparently thinking himself the spitting image of Carona City Councilman Steve Nolan, police say Ciaramella sauntered into a printing shop on February 22 and tried to purchase $1,500 in office supplies under the elected official's good name.
Well, semi-good name:
Nolan's got some problems of his own. Namely, a hit-and-run accident he claims he didn't notice at the time and a recent file for bankruptcy. The Corona Police Officer's Association even calls him "a corrupt politician who has and continues to use his position for personal and financial gain... [and] to intimidate, dissuade and bully."
Perhaps not the right politician to impersonate while waving around fat government checks for charity?
According to ABC7, 37-year-old Ciaramella, who was already wanted for "fraud, identity theft and narcotic violations" (busy guy), flashed an official City of Corona check and made the heart-wrenching argument that the supplies were for an "inner city kid's project."
Who, uh, were probably all orphans. With cancer. Writes KTLA:
Investigators are now trying to figure out what he was going to do with those supplies.
Ciaramella was finally arrested after trying to pull a similar stunt this last Monday, at which point he confessed his sins to police, reports ABC7.
We've contacted the Corona Police Department and Councilman Nolan for comment. What do you think? Do they look anything alike? And, to help out investigators, anyone have any ideas about what on Earth a tatted hard-ass would want with $1,500 in office supplies?
Update: The Riverside Press-Enterprise has a few more (highly amusing) details:
Corona police detectives are still trying to figure out why a parolee arrested Sunday would try to impersonate a highly visible city official to which he bears no resemblance.
"Detectives have no idea why he would pick Mr. Nolan of all people," said Sgt. Kim Velasco in an email. ...
Jail records record Ciaramella's height as 6-feet-7, and his weight as 465 pounds. Councilman Steve Nolan, whom he claimed to be, is 5-feet-10 and weighs 175 pounds.
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But after examining the Press-Enterprise's choice of photo comparison, we're kind of seeing it now, at least facially: