A Rhinelander man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on allegations he stole several identities and a food card, in addition to a number of items and violating bond conditions.
Anthony Comella, 28, with previous addresses in Rhinelander and Eagle River, was in Vilas County Circuit Court last week before Judge Neal Nielsen on the felony charges. Comella is said to have taken a victim’s ATM card in March of this year. That victim also reported a TV and computer missing, noting to police the TV was returned but not the computer, which Comella told the victim he knew nothing about. A few days later, the victim told police a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development had been received, asking for a repayment of $573 for unemployment overpayment. It was discovered the funds were directly deposited into the victim’s account, but the victim was unaware of the transaction and Comella had the number to the card.
Police found the card was used at an ATM for $300 once and $200 another time, plus $440 then $135.
Comella was in jail for third offense operating while intoxicated at the time the victim made the report, but released shortly after, according to court records.
When interviewed by Vilas County investigators, another victim — a neighbor and friend of Comella’s near Eagle River — said in April it was believed Comella had taken the second victim’s debit card pin and used it, as well as took a TV and computer without permission. Further, Comella took food from the apartment purchased with the victim’s food card.
Comella also told the second victim about how he would steal liquor from area grocery stores and talked about “hacking other people’s stuff,” the victim and past friend told police.
A search warrant was served at Comella’s then-home in Eagle River in May, where law enforcement located a victim’s food card. Also found were several computers, paperwork for one victim, cell and trac phones, hard and thumb drives, folders with various people’s names and identifiers, a debit card of a victim, in addition to various prescriptions.
Comella is charged with felonies burglary, three counts misappropriate ID for money, unauthorized use of food stamps and knowingly traffic food stamps — all as a repeat offender plus misdemeanors theft, credit card theft and four counts financial transaction with a card/fraudulent use.
Filed only in the same county is a case of six counts felony bail jumping/repeater, disorderly conduct with use of a dangerous weapon and criminal damage to property, all as a repeat offender. There, Comella violated bond in July this summer when he’s said to have slashed tires and threatened someone with a knife during an altercation involving three men at a house on State Road 70.
In yet another felony case in Vilas County, Comella is up against felony bail jumping/repeater and disorderly conduct/repeater, and two counts felony all jumping and resisting/obstructing an officer in an additional case.
A pre-trial conference is forthcoming in November. Comella is represented by public defender Attorney Adam Snavely. He may not have contact with the victims or the places where the crimes are alleged to have occurred and he must maintain total sobriety as part of his several signature bonds.