Two men charged with stealing over $40K in tools from City of Tonawanda business

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two men have been charged with stealing over $40,000 worth of “snap-on” tools from a City of Tonawanda business overnight.

Along with the tools, arresting officers also found 29 baggies of crack cocaine.

Tonawanda police officer Thomas Kitson, who’s been with the department for about 15 years, was out on patrol early Thursday morning when he spotted a shadow behind a business off Peuquet Parkway.

He eventually saw two men, who took off in separate directions once they saw police.

Police said the men used a reciprocating saw, or sallzaw, to cut through a garage door in the building. And once inside, they began stealing what turned out to be more than $42,000 in top-of-the-line SnapOn Tools, police said.

Police said they found the tools and the drugs in their car, which had garbage bags wrapped around the license plates.

One of the suspects, Ryan Walkowiak, 26, of Lancaster, was caught hiding behind propane bottles at a business next door, police said.

The other suspect, Matthew Banks-Jubert, 23, of Buffalo, was located on a back porch by Erie County Sheriff’s tracking K-9 after he ran through the woods and across the frozen Ellicott Creek.

Walkiowiak was charged with third degree criminal possession of stolen property, third degree burglary, third degree grand larceny, third degree criminal mischief, fifth degree conspiracy, seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, second degree obstruction of a government official, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Banks-Jubert was charged with third degree criminal possession of narcotic drugs with intent to sell, fourth degree criminal possession of narcotic drugs, third degree criminal possession of stolen property, third degree burglary, third degree grand larceny, third degree criminal mischief, second degree obstruction of a government official, resisting arrest, fifth degree conspiracy, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Both men were arraigned on $25,000 cash/property bail. They’re scheduled to have a hearing Jan. 9.

North Tonawanda Police, Town of Tonawanda Police, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office assisted City of Tonawanda Police.

 

 

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