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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena man jailed for stealing mom’s vehicle

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MASSENA - A 20-year-old Massena man who admitted to police he was “off his meds” apparently couldn’t get a ride to his girlfriend’s house Friday night so he allegedly stole his mother’s vehicle in an attempt to get there.

Kenneth A. Laughlin of 64 Perkins Road was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree grand larceny, while also being ticketed for driving with no headlights, unlicensed operation, failure to keep right, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

The accident occurred less than half a mile from his home when according to court records Laughlin went off the right side of the road, crashing into some trees and shrubs at the 296 Hubbard Road residence of David E. Tuttle.

Laughlin told police he was on his way to his girlfriend’s house when the crash happened.

“She lives on the reservation,” he said.

Jason Newcomb, of 216 Barnhart Road didn’t actually witness the crash, but according to his statement to police Mr. Newcombe heard what happened.

“I heard a loud bang coming from outside. I thought someone was on my porch so I went outside,” he said.

It was at that point he saw the 2004 Durango in the Mr. Tuttle’s yard stuck in a patch of trees and shrubs, many of which had been ripped from the ground.

“I told the young man to turn the vehicle off while I was on the phone with the police,” Mr. Newcombe said. “The young male kept trying to back out. After about the fourth attempt the male shut the vehicle off.”

After shutting off the vehicle, Laughlin then fled the scene, with Mr. Newcombe in pursuit.

“I caught the male by the sweatshirt and told him to stop, to which he did. The guy waited with me until police arrived,” he said. “The male was talking to himself the whole time.”

Despite telling police that he did have a licence and he took his road test two years ago, Laughlin was not licensed, a point made by his mother, Beth M. Laughlin, also of 64 Perkins Road.

“At no time did Kenneth have the right to take my vehicle nor the belief that he could take my vehicle. Kenneth doesn’t even have a permit or license,” she said in her statement to police, adding Laughlin took the keys to her truck without her knowledge

Police said Laughlin was arrested at 9:28 p.m. Friday, minutes after the accidentthat totaled his mother’s truck occurred.

He was then arraigned by Acting Village Justice James M. Crandall and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond. He remained incarcerated Monday evening.

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