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Two prison inmates arraigned in theft probe

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A man and woman who were given prison sentences last year were brought back to Jefferson County Thursday to face charges in a theft investigation that opened last April.

Robert S. Champion, 19, a prisoner at Lakeview Shock Incarceration Facility, Chautauqua County, and Lisha M. Skeldon, 19, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Westchester County, are charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny. They were arraigned in town of Hounsfield Court and were returned to state custody.

State police charged them in the theft of a wallet owned by Jerry Vecchio on April 13 at his residence, 22747 Old Rome State Road in the town of Hounsfield. Credit cards and up to $500 in cash were in the wallet, which was stolen from his unlocked vehicle, police said.

Mr. Vecchio’s cards were used for the purchases of gasoline and a cell phone, police said. A trace on the phone purchase and user led troopers to Mr. Champion, police said.

A week after that theft, the two stole items worth more than $1,000 belonging to Kenneth R. Granger, Watertown, and were arrested that day, April 27, by Watertown police. They subsequently pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Court to felony possession of stolen property in the Watertown theft, and are each serving sentences of 16 months to four years.

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