Through waiting at traffic stop, Florida man burglarizes Cortland home, police say

Kenneth Legrant, 33, of 9171 Tottenham Court, Jacksonville, Fla. (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — A Florida man was arrested for burglary Sunday morning after he broke into a Tompkins Street house in front of two officers following a traffic stop and then gave officers the stolen items at the city police station, according to the Cortland Police Department.

Kenneth Legrant, 33, of 9171 Tottenham Court, Jacksonville, was riding in a vehicle on Tompkins Street with another man and the female driver, Latika Abbott, 24, of Lansing, when they were pulled over about 3:35 a.m. during a traffic stop, said Lt. Michael Strangeway.

Officers determined Abbott, of 612 Lansing Station, did not have a valid license and arrested her for second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, a misdemeanor, Strangeway said.

As police prepared to tow the vehicle Abbott was driving, Legrant and the other man, who was not named by police as he was not arrested, stood along the side of the road. Then Legrant walked away and entered a residence on Tompkins Street, police said. Legrant walked back, told his companion a resident at the home let him use the phone to call for a ride, and said they should walk away from the scene to meet their ride.

Officers still on the scene looked over at the house and did not see any lights on that would indicate someone was awake to help Legrant, police said. They went to the residence and found no one was home, Strangeway said. Officers looked inside and found it appeared burglarized.

Officers could see Nintendo Wii controllers, but no Wii game system console, according to police.

While reporting back at the station that Legrant likely burglarized the home, officers saw Legrant walk into the station with his companion in an effort to bail out Abbott, according to officers.

Police asked Legrant for permission to search the backpack he was carrying and he agreed, Strangeway said. Legrant then told officers they could have everything in the backpack, he said.

Inside the backpack, officers found a laptop, an X-box game system and a Wii, Strangeway said. Police were able to contact a person living in the residence and the property owner, who both identified items as ones that had been stolen from the home, he said.

Legrant was also wearing clothes stolen from the residence while at the police station, according to police.

The items stolen were worth more than $1,000 in total, police said.

Legrant was charged with second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, all felonies. He was arraigned and remanded to jail on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond bail. His next court appearance is March 20 in Cortland City Court.

Legrant was convicted of sexual battery on May 19, 2011, in Duval County Court in Florida, which is defined in Florida law "as nonconsensual intercourse with a person over the age of 12." Legrant was not required to register as a sex offender in New York as he is not a resident, Strangeway said.