YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Youngstown towing service operator was indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury after police said he stole the personal information of a competitor in order to shut off his competitor’s cell phones and disrupt his business.
Alex Bugno, 26, of Poland, who operates Bugno Towing, was indicted on one count each of identity fraud, a fifth-degree felony, and disrupting public services, a fourth-degree felony. The indictment states the incident occurred on Sept. 30.
According to a Boardman police report, an employee of Ludt’s Towing on McClurg Road in Boardman told police someone shut off his business phone by calling Verizon and using his personal information.
The Ludt’s Towing employee said the caller had his company cell phone shut off, which automatically disabled five other employee cell phones. Because the phones were shut off, they could not receive calls for service.
The Ludt’s employee said during the nighttime hours, there are no dispatchers available to answer calls, so when someone calls in for a tow or other service, it directs them to his cell phone, the police report states. Because his phone was shut off, he lost business.
Boardman Police Det. Glen Patton said through the course of the investigation, it was determined it was Bugno who made the call to Verizon. Patton said the phone company kept a recording of the call.