BENSONHURST BEAN EXCLUSIVE: A Gravesend pizza maker who became the victim of identity theft after losing his drivers license last summer is still wondering when he’ll legally be able to get behind the wheel again – even after a judge determined that his driving record is actually clean.
“I did everything I was supposed to do, and, as we speak, I still have to have a friend drive me to work,” said Saverino Careri, 28, owner of Italia Pizza and Restaurant located at 307 Kings Highway (corner of West 6th Street).
Careri’s problems started after another man named Anthony Cabrera began racking up moving violations using the pizzeria owner’s recovered drivers license. When Cabrera was arrested on a DWI charge and gave Careri’s name, authorities released him before receiving the results of his fingerprint identification, according to Careri’s mother Mimma, which would have nailed him as an ID thief and saved Careri a headache.
“Somehow, he was able to convince a whole police precinct that he was me,” Saverino Careri said.
Cabrera was later arrested on September 13, 2011, and initially charged with Criminal Impersonation, Identity Theft and Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information. He ultimately pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct and sentenced to jail time served. Cabrera’s present whereabouts, however, remain unclear.
Careri briefly had his drivers license restored this past spring after a judge heard his case.
“We thought everything was resolved,” said Mimma Careri. “Then we got a letter saying that the license was suspended again.”
Careri has now spent the better part of a year without a drivers license, keeping him from doing deliveries for Italia Pizza and putting a strain on the family’s business.
After that, the Careris were told that they needed to speak to somebody in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, which they did. But so far, that has only produced more frustration for the pizzeria owners.
“We were told, ‘Oh, it should have been corrected a long time ago,’” Mimma Careri said. “They have to find Cabrera and bring him back before a judge.”
Mimma said that the family doesn’t know Cabrera, but believes he is from the neighborhood, and might have picked up Saverino’s license somewhere on Cropsey Avenue because that’s where her son’s girlfriend lives.
The Distict Attorney’s Office refuses to comment on whether or not Careri is any closer to having his drivers license restored, saying only that the case is “under investigation.”
“I’m disappointed, I’m aggravated, I’m angry,” Mimma Careri said. “My son just leased a car – it’s a Mercedes. He finally rewards himself for hard work and he can’t drive it.”
– Joe Maniscalco