WEST SENECA, N.Y. — West Seneca Police say on Friday night they had to arrest a woman for the same charges, for a second time, just minutes after they had released her from the station on an appearance ticket.
Police say it all started around 5:30 p.m. at the Wegmans on Orchard Park Road. They were reporting to a call of two people fleeing the store after trying to shoplift more than $600 in groceries.
The pair of suspects tried to drive away, but the vehicle they were driving stalled. Police say that a Good Samaritan who was unaware of what the duo just did helped them get their car running again.
After the car started back up, the driver backed the vehicle into the Good Samaritan's vehicle, then drove away.
The Good Samaritan's vehicle was damaged.
An officer responding to the call told the fleeing suspects to pull over into a parking lot. They stopped for a moment, then attempted to leave again and drove onto Orchard Park Road, according to police.
That's when the other responding police cars were able to box the duo's car in and take them into custody. Police say several stolen food items from Wegmans were found in the car.
The duo were identified as Amy L. Hofbauer, 42, of Depew, and Patrick J. Canaan, 36, of Buffalo. They were charged with petit larceny and police say additional charges may be added pending further investigation.
Hofbauer, who police say had been driving the vehicle, was also charged with traffic violations, since she left the scene of a property damage accident and she had been driving on a suspended license.
Then, minutes after both Hofbauer and Canaan were released from the station on appearance tickets, dispatchers received a call saying that a woman was removing items from people's vehicles as she walked down the street. The caller reported that the woman was not far from the station, on Norwood Drive.
When police located the woman, she was across the street from the station. They identified her as Hofbauer. Police say she was found with "several dozen pieces of property from vehicles including cash, change, sunglasses, prescription narcotics, a wallet, and credit cards."
Hofbauer was brought back to the station and charged with several accounts of petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree (a class E felony) and fifth degree, grand larceny in the forth degree (a class E felony), and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.
She was released again on an appearance ticket and the police drove her home.