The owner of a local auto-body shop was charged on 12 felony counts for hiding a dead man’s Porsche from his family and taking ownership of the car.

An eight-month investigation by the New Windsor Police Department led to Patrick J. Torpey's arrest. The 53-year-old owns 20th Century Towing and 21st Century Auto Body on Union Ave in New Windsor.

In 2012, a man dropped off his 1978 Porsche 911 at the New Windsor business for repairs. While the car was in for repairs, the Porsche’s owner unexpectedly died.

In the weeks that followed, Torpey filed a NYSDMV Garagemans Lein on the vehicle, requiring him to complete the NYSDMV documents for filing, which generated a new Title of Ownership for Torpey, police say.

During this time, the original owner’s wife, who Torpey knew, was looking for the Porsche. Torpey is accused of purposely keeping the vehicle from the owner’s spouse, the administrator of her husband’s estate, so he could take ownership of it.

It wasn’t until last summer that the vehicle’s whereabouts were discovered and Torpey’s fraudulent activity was revealed, police say.

On Monday, Torpey was arrested at his home and charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, five counts of falsifying business records, four counts of offering a false instrument for filing and perjury, all felonies.

Torpey was released after posting $2,500 bail.

The Porsche was found in a garage at Torpey’s home and is currently being held by the New Windsor Police Department, officials say.

Also assisting in the investigation were members of the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office and Investigators from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

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