Man Who Stole $100K from Elderly Vet Father Held Without Bail
FALL RIVER — Anthony Schmitka, a 58-year-old former Norton resident, was ordered held without bail during his arraignment this afternoon in Fall River Superior Court on charges connected to allegations that he stole more than $100,000 from his elderly veteran father, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today.
The defendant was returned to Massachusetts last night, transported to the Norton Police Station for booking and was held in jail overnight at the Ash Street Jail.
The defendant, one of the first highlighted on the Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List unveiled to the public last month, was tracked down and apprehended in Woodstock, Vermont last week.
Schmitka had been on the run since early 2016 when he failed to appear for a jury trial in Attleboro District Court. He was subsequently indicted on two Superior Court charges of larceny over $250 from a person over the age of 60. He was also indicted this morning on a charge of bail jumping/failure to appear. Schmitka is accused of systematically stealing more than $100,000 from his elderly father.
In February 2013, the defendants’ father, who is a U.S. military veteran, received a retroactive benefits check for more than $100,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs. During the next 12 months, this defendant is alleged to have stolen the money, using a portion of it to play the lottery and gamble at a local casino.
On February 14, 2019, District Attorney Quinn, joined by members of his state police unit and police chiefs from throughout Bristol County, announced the creation of a Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List and a new anonymous tip program during a press conference in Westport. During that announcement, the defendant’s name and photo was released to the public in hopes that new leads would be generated on his whereabouts.
A week after this announcement, Norton Police received a tip stating that the defendant was hiding out in Vermont. This information was passed along to DA Quinn’s State Police Unit and the Massachusetts Violent Fugitives Apprehension Section (VFAS), since both agencies had been working collaboratively to locate and apprehend this wanted fugitive.
Thanks to that tip, tenacious investigatory work and the assistance of the U.S. Marshals, investigators were able to take this fugitive back into custody in Vermont. The defendant has since waived rendition, is currently being held in custody in Vermont and will likely be transported back to Massachusetts to face the charges lodged against him in Fall River Superior Court sometime next week. District Attorney Quinn would like to thank VFAS, members of his state police unit, Norton Police, the U.S. Marshals and the Woodstock Police for their help in locating and apprehending this fugitive from justice.
“I am very pleased the defendant was held without bail. The defendant has clearly demonstrated that he is a flight risk and should be held without bail until his trial. We will continue to dedicate resources to locating and apprehending fugitives who refuse to appear for court hearings,” District Attorney Quinn said.
--Bristol County District Attorney's Office