City police arrest man for candy burglary

(File photo courtesy of

City police arrested a 48-year-old man Wednesday for entering a gas station he was banned from and stealing candy, according to the Cortland Police Department.

Benjamin E. Westmoreland, homeless, was charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, and petit larceny, a misdemeanor, after he entered the Speedway at 110 Port Watson at about 2 p.m., said Lt. David Guerrera on Thursday. Westmoreland had been officially served with a notice barring him from entering the convenience store, making his entrance and theft a burglary, said Guerrera. Westmoreland stole two packets of Starbursts and two packets of Kit Kats, he said.

It is likely Westmoreland was high on drugs when he stole the candy, Guerrera noted.

“He’s suspected of being under the influence of narcotics,” he said.

The narcotic heroin, along with cocaine and other drugs, are suspected in the three overdose deaths within the city within the first 12 days of the year, said Lt. Michael Strangeway in a previous interview. In 2020, the city saw a 200 percent increase in overdose deaths as compared to 2018, according to police statistics.

Westmoreland was arrested at 2:15 p.m. near the Speedway, arraigned in City Court and remanded to the Cortland County Correctional Facility to reappear in City Court at a later date.

Windchill temperatures are expected to fall to as low as -12 degrees tonight which would endanger anyone without shelter.