Monday, January 16th, 2017

City slickers bring crime to rural areas

While someone creates a scene at the Walmart in Macedon, several other members of the ‘crew’ exit the store with a large screen TV. Taking advantage of the store being open 24 hours a day, similar gang shoplifting incidents occur in the early morning hours when the staffing may be sparse.

Another scenario has a man who produces fake payroll and/or personal checks meeting two “middle” men and a woman they have brought in to the scheme. They enter the bank’s branch, provide a fake identification and a realistic check with the correct routing numbers inscribed. The woman, usually a homeless person, or possible a prostitute, leaves the bank and meets up with the two men waiting in a nearby get-away vehicle.

The check originator stays a safe distance away in case the bank, or store calls police. If the check transaction is successful, he takes the large portion of the ill-gotten loot. The two men get a smaller portion and the woman gets just enough to survive another day.

According to Macedon Police Chief John Colella, the growth in Western Wayne County population brings big box stores and business growth. In turn, the professional shoplifting crews and check scammer teams out of Rochester join the trend.
Banks and businesses deal daily with the smaller thieves, but it is the professionals who either make a living at these types of thefts, or rely on them for their daily drug doses, who take a big bite out of profits.

On July 13, 2012 at about 1:00 a.m., a group of six, two at a time, entered Wal-Mart in Macedon. All put plastic totes in carts and walked around the store filling the totes. They left the store after about 10 minutes with about five thousand dollars in merchandise.

Store security was monitoring them by electronic surveillance at the time and had suspected that most of the same group had similarly looted the store the night before.

The six entered three vehicles and sped off towards Rochester with a lone Macedon Police car in pursuit. Macedon Police stopped one vehicle, Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy stopped the second vehicle and the third vehicle got away.

All the captured defendants live in the City of Rochester and have previous convictions for shoplifting. All were sent to jail on bail upon arraignment. All were indicted by the Wayne County Grand Jury for felony third degree grand larceny and felony possession of stolen property.

The cases were disposed of as follows, with Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy showing no tolerance with the criminal gang elements invading County businesses.

• David Garrett, age 55, convicted of third degree Grand Larceny and sentenced to 3-6 years in state prison.
• Courtney Garrett, age 26, convicted of third degree Grand Larceny and Possession of Stolen Property and sentenced to 1 1/2 -4 1/2 years in state prison.
• Chaunsey Gilbert, age 30, convicted of third degree Grand Larceny and sentenced to 1 1/3-4 years in state prison.
• Mitchell Sims, age 20, convicted of third degree Grand Larceny and sentenced to six months jail consecutive to one year jail currently serving in Niagara County on a drug conviction.
• Karie Keech, age 18, granted Youth Offender treatment and sentenced to four months jail and five years probation.
Darren Davidson, age 38, convicted of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property fifth degree and sentenced to one year in the Wayne County Jail. Davidson never entered the store but rather stayed in a vehicle.

Colella stated that even though this crew was brought down, the banks and stores know there are more, daily, Rochester crews on the prowl. He said it was putting a strain on his department of 6 full time, four part-time officers. “We patrol 38 square miles and when an officer spends hours on one of these cases, he is not out patrolling the Town.

On Wednesday Macedon Police at 2:45 p.m. responded to a call from the Lyons National Bank after a woman tried unsuccessfully to cash a bogus check. She exited the bank and ran over to the Gulf station next door, where a vehicle with two men was waiting. Chief Collela drove up in an unmarked vehicle and tried to head them off before they exited the parking lot. The vehicle began to head west on Route 31, but was stopped by the traffic light at Route 31 and Wayneport Road. By that time a second Macedon Officer Ed O’Konsky’s vehicle cut off the fleeing vehicle. Police approached the vehicle with guns drawn and took three people into custody. They were believed to be the same crew who tried to cashed a bogus payroll check from Barnard Chevrolet at the Lyons National Bank the day before and successfully left with $980.

On Tuesday, the same crew successfully cashed yet another check for $1700. At the Lyons Bank branch in the Town of Ontario, the same crew cashed another bogus payroll check for $1500.