Teens Prosecuted in Youth Part for Stealing Vehicles and Committing Other Felony Offenses

Modified: February 9, 2021 11:52am

2/9/2021

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that his office’s Community Prosecution Unit is actively investigating and prosecuting adolescent offenders on various charges related to stolen vehicles and other crimes in the City of Buffalo and the surrounding areas. The Erie County DA’s Office will release the names of adolescent offenders who are not eligible for youthful offender adjudication. The criminal cases against those sentenced as youthful offenders are sealed by operation of law.

Casson H. McCutcheon, 17, of Buffalo is being prosecuted for his alleged involvement in two stolen vehicle cases and other crimes. It is alleged that on October 7, 2020, the defendant nearly hit a police officer while driving a stolen vehicle at a high-rate of speed on Clarence Avenue near Hutchinson Avenue in the City of Buffalo. The vehicle was reported stolen two days prior from a location in Buffalo.

He is charged with Attempted Assault on a Police Officer (Class “D” felony), Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (Class “E” felony) as well as other misdemeanor charges and vehicle and traffic law violations.

It is further alleged that the defendant stole another vehicle from an address on Cornwall Avenue in the City of Buffalo. The defendant was allegedly found in possession of the vehicle at the Walden Galleria on October 12, 2020. He is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony), Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree (Class “E” felony), Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor).

He is also facing grand larceny charges in two separate cases for allegedly using stolen credit cards.

The defendant is scheduled to appear before Youth Part Judge Kevin M. Carter on February 10, 2021.

An 18-year-old male adolescent offender is being prosecuted for allegedly operating a stolen vehicle while committing burglaries at three businesses and attempting to burglarize a fourth business in Buffalo and Kenmore during the evening of November 23 and into the early morning hours of November 24, 2020. The vehicle was reported stolen from Buffalo on November 9, 2020 after the driver left the vehicle running while unattended.

The adolescent offender is charged with three counts of Burglary in the Third Degree (Class “D” felonies), one count of Attempted Burglary in the Third Degree (Class “E” felony), and one count of Unauthorized Use of a Stolen Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor).

His case is pending in Buffalo City Court before Judge Shannon Heneghan.

A 17-year-old male adolescent offender pleaded guilty before Judge Carter to one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree and one count of Burglary in the Third Degree (both Class “D” felonies) on December 23, 2020. He admitted to burglarizing an automotive store in the Town of Tonawanda and stealing a vehicle from the property on November 2, 2020. He will be sentenced as a youthful offender on February 16, 2021.

Kenneth Craig, 17, of Buffalo received an indeterminate sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges for his involvement in stolen vehicle cases and other crimes. The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree (Class “E” felonies) for possessing two vehicles that were reported stolen from Niagara County on August 3, 2020. He pleaded guilty to one count of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor) for being the passenger in a vehicle reported stolen from the City of Buffalo on February 13, 2020. He also pleaded guilty to one count of Robbery in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony) for robbing at a bank on Main Street in the Town of Amherst on September 11, 2020.

Tommie A. Claiborne, 18, of Buffalo received an indeterminate sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty charges for his involvement in stolen vehicle cases. The defendant, who was 17-years-old at the time of crime, was arrested on February 27, 2020 by Kenmore Police for driving a stolen vehicle. He was also arrested by Buffalo Police in June 2020 when he was found in possession of a vehicle reported stolen from a car rental business on Genesee Street in the Town of Cheektowaga. 

He pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree (Class “E” felony) and one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor) before Judge Carter.

A 17-year-old male adolescent offender was sentenced as a youthful offender to three years of probation for leading police on a high-speed pursuit while driving a stolen vehicle on July 25, 2020. The vehicle had been reported stolen the day before from an address on Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo. The pursuit ended on East Ferry Street near Humboldt Parkway when the defendant collided with a civilian’s vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle suffered injuries. The youthful offender pleaded guilty to one count of Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer (Class “E” felony).

“Our partners in law enforcement have reported a recent spike in crimes involving stolen vehicles. 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,” said Erie County DA John Flynn.  

Anyone with information on these crimes or other incidents involving vehicle thefts can contact the Erie County DA’s Office (716-858-2424).

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department, Amherst Police Department, Cheektowaga Police Department, Kenmore Police Department and the other law enforcement agencies involved for their work in these investigations.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Noha A. Elnakib and Chief Danielle N. D’Abate of the DA’s Community Prosecution Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.