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3 plead guilty in disappearance of muscle car

WORCESTER — Three New Hampshire men prosecutors said were involved in the mysterious disappearance of a Massachusetts man’s beloved restored muscle car have avoided jail time after pleading guilty to lesser charges than they had originally faced.

Patrick Peryer, 23, and Kurtis Lavigne, 28, who both were originally charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, and Steven Montanez, 36, who was originally charged with motor vehicle larceny, pleaded guilty Thursday to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The men, all from Manchester, N.H., received jail sentences of a year, suspended for a year of probation.

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The saga of the 1973 purple Dodge Challenger restored by Aaron Dahrooge of Worcester and his teenage son started last March, when it mysteriously vanished from the garage at his deceased mother’s foreclosed home. Dahrooge still had legal control of the house as the executor of his mother’s estate.

A neighbor told Dahrooge that the subcontractor hired by Bank of America to secure and winterize the house had returned the following day, put the hot rod on a trailer, and hauled it away.

Dahrooge told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that he was outraged, especially when he tried to get the name of the banking giant’s subcontractor and was repeatedly refused.

The car, with a blown transmission and rear tires scorched bald, was finally tracked down by police last August in a garage in Manchester, N.H.

Montanez, it turns out, was the owner of JRM Properties, the Bank of America subcontractor. His company has since gone out of business.

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