BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County District Attorney says that six teens have been charged in connection to recent car thefts and similar crimes.
Two of the individuals are 18-years-old and four of them are 17-years-old. Crimes also included burglaries and other thefts, as well as one incident where a police chase was initiated and ended in the adolescent crashing the stolen car to crash into a civilian car, causing injuries.
“Our partners in law enforcement have reported a recent spike in crimes involving stolen vehicles," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.
"By leaving your vehicle unlocked and unattended, you are giving criminals an opportunity to steal your property. We are seeing these car thieves use stolen vehicles to commit other crimes in our community,” he added.
Casson H. McCutcheon, 17, of Buffalo, has been arrested for felony, misdemeanor and vehicle/traffic law charges relating to two incidents.
McCutcheon allegedly nearly hit a police officer with a stolen car. Police say he was driving very fast on Clarence Avenue near Hutchinson Avenue on October 7, 2020.
Five days later, on October 12, McCutcheon was allegedly found at the Walden Galleria with a different vehicle that had been stolen from Cornwall Avenue in Buffalo.
McCutcheon has two other cases relating to allegedly using stolen credit cards where he faces grand larceny charges.
He's due in court on February 10.
An unnamed 18-year-old faces charges for allegedly driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen after being left running unattended on November 9, 2020 while they allegedly committed burglaries. The burglaries took place overnight on November 23, 2020 into the morning on November 24 at three businesses in Buffalo and Kenmore. The individual also attempted a burglary at a fourth business.
The individual faces felony and misdemeanor charges.
An unnamed 17-year-old has pleaded guilty to two class D felonies: criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and burglary in the third degree. The individual did admit to committing a burglary at a Town of Tonawanda automotive store on November 2, 2020, where a vehicle was stolen.
The 17-year-old will be sentenced in court on February 16.
Kenneth Craig, 17, of Buffalo, will spend between one to three years in prison after pleading guilty to felonies and a misdemeanor relating to robbing a bank, possessing stolen vehicles and riding in a stolen vehicle.
Craig had ridden in a stolen vehicle last February. He also was later found to have had two stolen cars that had been reported stolen in Niagara County on August 3, 2020. He also robbed a bank on Main Street in Amherst on September 11, 2020.
Tommie A. Claiborne, 18, of Buffalo, will also spend one to three years in prison. Claiborne was 17-years-old when he was arrested last February for allegedly driving a stolen vehicle, and then arrested again in June for allegedly possessing a vehicle stolen from a car rental business.
Claiborne pleaded guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor relating to the crimes.
An unnamed 17-year-old has pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful fleeing of a police officer, a class E felony, and was sentenced to three years of probation as a youthful offender.
The 17-year-old, according to the DA's office, led police on a high-speed pursuit that ended in a car crash on East Ferry Street near Humboldt Parkway, on July 25, 2020. A person in the car that was hit was injured in the accident. The vehicle the 17-year-old was driving had been reported stolen the day before on Fillmore Ave.
The Erie County DA’s Office says the public can contact them at 716-858-2424 with any information about these crimes or other vehicle thefts.
Individuals who were named above are not eligible for youthful offender status.