BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three people were arraigned for separate looting related crimes committed during the Blizzard of 2022, according to the Erie County District Attorney.
Walter Hicks-Jones, 34, of Buffalo, John Harber Jr., 26, of Cheektowaga, and Shaquille Chillis, 29, of Buffalo, are all facing charges in connection to separate looting crimes in the City of Buffalo and the Town of Amherst.
On Dec. 27, Buffalo Police responded to the scene of a reported burglary at a dollar store on Bailey Avenue in the City of Buffalo, where, they say, Hicks-Jones, allegedly, knowingly entered and remained unlawfully inside the store, which was closed at the time due to the blizzard.
Hicks-Jones was arraigned on one count of criminal trespass in the third degree. He is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 8 for further proceedings. He was released on his own recognizance as the charge in non-qualifying for bail.
If convicted of the highest charge, Hicks-Jones faces a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 26, Harber allegedly, while acting in concert with co-defendant Chillis, burglarized a business located on Main Street in the Town of Amherst.
Harber, was arraigned on one count of burglary in the third degree and one count of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree.
Harber allegedly drove Chillis to the store with the intent to commit a burglary by acting as the getaway vehicle.
Chillis, allegedly, knowingly entered the closed business through a broken window and remained unlawfully inside while Harber, allegedly, waited inside his vehicle during the commission of the crime.
Harber allegedly drove away as police entered the store to investigate but was later stopped on Main Street.
Chillis was arraigned on one count of burglary in the third degree and one count of attempted petit larceny.
Chillis allegedly entered the business with the intent to steal merchandise and attempted to steal shoes from the business. He was taken into custody without incident when confronted by responding officers in the rear stock room of the business.
Harber and Chillis are scheduled to return to court on Feb. 2. Both remain released under supervision.
If convicted of the highest charge, they face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
As of Wednesday, a total of 11 individuals have been arraigned on various charges related to looting stores, according to the Erie County District Attorney.