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Theft trial takes a twist

WILKES-BARRE – Warren Gerber was supposed to tell a jury how he and his brother Gary were involved in a multimillion-dollar theft ring.

He didn’t. The often-smug inmate instead said his brother Gary had nothing to do with the thefts of more than 60 vehicles and loads of cargo.

Warren told the jury it was him and another brother, Richard, who engaged in the thievery.

How much of it?

“Oh, a lot,” he said. “I don’t even know if I could count that high.”

Warren, who’s now serving 13 to 26 years in prison for his role, looked forward to testifying at Gary’s trial. “It gets me out of jail for today,” he said.

Warren’s testimony came during Gary’s trial in Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. Gary, 35, of Edwardsville, is charged with receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

Investigators charged the brothers with stealing $4.5 million worth of tractor-trailers, construction equipment and other vehicles in Luzerne and nine other counties.

Warren was a witness for prosecutors. Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo asked Warren, 33, about the trio’s antics over the years.

But Warren said it wasn’t all three of them engaging in the thefts. Just two of them.

“It was me and Richy.” And it wasn’t a big plot, he said.

“It was pure dumb luck that I came across half these things,” he said, noting how some items were stolen at truck stops. “My plan was to get a cup of coffee, and I’d end up leaving with a trailer.”

Costanzo relied on testimony Warren gave to a grand jury years ago to show how Warren implicated Gary in the ring.

But Warren fired back.

He said prosecutors “coached” him through the testimony. He also took the fall for some of Richard’s thefts, he said.

Richard, 34, was sentenced in Luzerne County last week to five to 10 years in prison on charges related to the ring.

Gary’s trial is before Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. He also has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in Monroe County in another case, Costanzo said. He is awaiting sentencing.

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