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Livingston County nabs high end car thief, must release under to NYS Bail Reform laws

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“Charges do not qualify for bail”

Sheriff Dougherty makes strong statement to NY pols

Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of a Buffalo, NY resident on felony level charges following an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

On March 22nd, 2023 Sheriff’s Deputies from the Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division responded to a business on Interstate Drive in the Town of Avon for the report of a burglary that occurred overnight. Upon arrival Deputies were advised that two suspects entered the business and stole two high-end sports cars valued at over two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000).

Through the investigation a suspect was identified as 20 year-old Richard E. Lucas III from Buffalo. Later in the day on March 22nd, 2023, Sheriff’s Investigators were able to track one of the stolen vehicles to the Town of Lackawanna, where it appeared to be parked at a local hotel. Lackawanna Police Department responded to the hotel and located the stolen car in the parking lot unoccupied.

Sheriff’s Investigators and members of the Forensic Identification Unit responded and secured the vehicle to be processed and secured as evidence. Sheriff’s Investigators then received additional information that the second stolen vehicle may be at a garage in the City of Buffalo. Sheriff’s Investigators and members of the Buffalo Police Department responded to the area and located the second vehicle. Upon arrival the Officers of the Buffalo Police Department took two suspects into custody and charged them with felony Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Sheriff’s Investigators were able to quickly determine that the two suspects found to be in possession of the stolen car were not involved in the early morning heist in the Town of Avon.

Sheriff’s Investigators were able to identify a good suspect, Richard E. Lucas III of Buffalo, NY.

On April 6th, 2023, West Seneca Police Department contacted the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and advised that they had Richard E. Lucas III in custody. Lucas was later arrested on two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Burglary in the Third Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, and Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, all stemming from the car heist that occurred in the Town of Avon. Lucas was turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for arrest processing and pre-arraignment detention.

The District Attorney’s Office was contacted in regards to bail due to the felony level charges. It was recommended that Lucas be released on his own recognizance, as the charges do not qualify for bail under the NYS Bail Reform.

Lucas was later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before West Sparta Justice Mahany. The Judge did release Lucas on his own recognizance to return to court at a later date per the law.

The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office was present and represented Lucas at the court arraignment for his defense. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear to represent the People.

The investigation was handled by members of the Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division, and Forensic Identification Unit (FIU). Also assisting with the investigation were members of the West Seneca Police Department, Lackawanna Police Department, Amherst Police Department, Buffalo Police Department, and the Monroe County Crime Analysis Center.

“Unfortunately the game of catch and release continues across New York State due to poorly vetted and passed laws by Albany politicians,” stated Sheriff Dougherty. “If lawmakers feel it appropriate that a criminal can break into a business in the darkness of night, cause damage to said building and steal $200,0000 worth of high end vehicles and then walk away from the arrest with a pinky promise to return to court, I sure hope they feel that same way when they are the one victimized by these emboldened criminals. We must return common sense to the criminal justice system and enact good policy from beginning to end, regardless of rich or poor, with the safety and security of all law-abiding New Yorkers as top priority.

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