LATHAM, N.Y. – Colonie Police have arrested a teenager on several felony charges.
According to police, Shawn Pettingell stole thousands of dollars from three elderly women. They were a family member, his godmother and a neighbor.
Police said they were initially alerted about two months ago when one of the women noticed something was wrong with her bank statement. Police discovered the 17-year-old had stolen their credit card numbers and blank checks.
“Mr. Pettingell had in fact gained the confidence of these people through association,” Lt. Bob Winn said. “He was either a friend or a relative of these victims, whom are all females in their 80s, all known to him. They know him. He’s done work for them in the past, or he has the association, so he’s familiar with their house.”
The high school senior allegedly used money to buy two first class plane tickets to Miami, Tiffany & Co. jewelry and concert tickets. Police said he had many of the items sent to his Summit Avenue home.
“He took one of his friends with him. Actually, the friend that was cashing the checks unbeknownst to her that she was cashing stolen checks,” Winn said. “But they went to Miami doing a college visit down to Johnson & Wales [University]. So he did buy those, and he bought those in his own name as well as in his friend’s name.”
Two other credit card numbers were recovered, and police believe there are more victims.
“I can’t believe it,” neighbor Allison Melnyk said. “Shawn was a very good kid. I had him at my house many times, and he’s hung out with my daughter, and it’s not something that I would think he’d be capable of doing.”
Police said he was arrested June 19, and he has been cooperative.
“He’s been cooperative with us to a certain extent,” Winn said. “What we knew about he has expressed his sorrow for. He did express an apology to the victims.”
Pettingell has been charged with three counts of Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, two counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, one count of Identity Theft, one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, three counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, and one count of Petit Larceny.
The teenager was arraigned as an adult.
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