County Sheriff’s Office: Individuals attempt to escape in stolen vehicle

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Two individuals were arrested late last week after they attempted to escape in a stolen vehicle, according to a Cortland County Sheriff’s Office report.

The report stated that county sheriff’s officers responded to the area of the Dollar Tree store on Route 13 in the Town of Cortlandville. The response was due to reports of an occupied stolen vehicle believed to be involved in a larceny at a business.

Quiana N. Thomas, 40 of East Syracuse, the driver of the stolen vehicle, was observed leaving the area. The report noted that officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but Thomas failed to comply and fled the scene.

In the midst of fleeing from officers, Thomas was “driving recklessly” and struck a vehicle on Route 281. Thomas left the scene of the crash and continued northbound on Route 281 towards the village of Homer.

Officers from the Homer Police Department assisted county sheriff’s officers in successfully using a tire-deflation device on the stolen vehicle, the report stated.

Thomas continued her escape attempt with two flat front tires and managed to go on Interstate-81 northbound for a few miles. Thomas, however, “eventually pulled the vehicle over,” the report noted.

Shawnda T. Curtis, 54 of Syracuse, was identified as a passenger in the vehicle. The report stated that the vehicle occupied by Thomas and Curtis was reported stolen by the Oneida Police Department. Both suspects had warrants for their arrests in other jurisdictions, the report noted.

Thomas was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property (a Class-D Felony), fifth-degree conspiracy and third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer (both Class-A Misdemeanors), third-degree unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and reckless driving (both misdemeanors), and failure to comply, leaving the scene of an accident and passed red signal (all traffic infractions).

Curtis was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property (a Class-D Felony) and fifth-degree conspiracy (a Class-A Misdemeanor).

Thomas and Curtis were both arraigned and sent to Cortland County Jail without bail. Thomas is scheduled to appear in Cortlandville town court (11:30 a.m. Wednesday) and Homer town court (5 p.m. Nov. 15), while Curtis is slated to appear in Homer town court at 5 p.m. Nov. 15.

The report stated that the investigation is ongoing, which could result in additional charges for Thomas and Curtis.

Along with the Homer Police Department, the county sheriff’s office was also assisted by the New York State Police and Ron’s Body and Paint.