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Massena men charged with grand larceny after stolen credit card probe

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MASSENA - Village police charged David S. MacDonald, 30, of 54 Perkins Road, Massena, and Donald T. (Trevor) Dow, 24, of 498 South Main St., Massena, with grand larceny and conspiracy counts late Saturday afternoon.

Dow was charged with third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery, fifth-degree conspiracy, resisting arrest and escape. He was arraigned by Massena Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

MacDonald was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and fifth-degree conspiracy. His bail was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond by Judge Sharlow.

Police said the charges stemmed from an investigation into the reported theft of a wallet from 28 Cook St. Ed Frank had reported on May 1 his wallet had been taken from his vehicle parked overnight at his residence. The investigation into that larceny revealed a credit card from his wallet had been used to make over $3,500 in purchases at several businesses over the past three weeks.

Dow was charged with escape and resisting arrest after he left the interview room at the Massena Police Department without permission at approximately 7 p.m., ran out of the station and returned to his home. He was taken back into custody shortly after 8 p.m. after a short foot chase along the river bank off South Main Street.

Police allege MacDonald and Dow stole the wallet, and MacDonald, working in concert, used a debit card stolen from Frank’s wallet to purchase numerous items ranging from cigarettes to a television.

Dow, in the statement he provided police, said he had been given a red debit card on numerous occasions by MacDonald and told to purchases several items.

“Dave offered to buy me cigarettes and told me to buy $20 or $30 worth of lottery tickets. Dave gave me a red credit card, and he stated to use credit, and it will definitely work. He said if you get in trouble I’ll definitely take care of you. Dave told me that if I go to jail he would buy me commissary,” Dow said in the statement he signed for police.

Dow said he used the credit card to buy four packs of cigarettes from the South Main Street Sunoco but learned he couldn’t purchase lottery tickets with a credit card. He said MacDonald then asked him to go McDonald’s and buy breakfast burritos. He said he did and bought nine burritos.

He said the two men then walked to the Sunoco on West Orvis Street, and MacDonald asked him to purchase more cigarettes, but he was denied because he was not carrying any identification.

Dow said MacDonald never went in any of the stores with him and stayed some distance away. “... he told (me) that he can’t be seen by cameras because there were warrants out for him, and the cops were looking for him,” he noted in his statement.

The two men then walked to Walmart. “Dave was telling me the whole way to Walmart that he wanted me to buy him clothes and whatever I wanted to get for myself to get for myself and that it was on him. He kept patting me on the back and telling me don’t worry about anything. No sweat, you’ll be fine,” Dow told police in his statement.

He said MacDonald gave him the credit card again, but the two men split up before they got to the Walmart parking lot and entered the store separately. “I put the stuff he wanted and the clothes I wanted into a shopping cart, and Dave did how own shopping. While we were waiting in line, he kept saying, ‘Hurry up and get out of here,’” according to Dow’s statement.

Dow said the two men left the store in a cab, and he took tanks tops, shoes and a hat when he got to the residence, leaving the remainder of the items, including a phone, for MacDonald.

He said MacDonald called him about a half hour later, and the two men met behind Price Chopper and went on another shopping adventure. Dow said MacDonald gave him the credit card and had him buy six more packages of cigarettes at Sunoco before they made another trip to Walmart, where he allegedly had Dow enter the store and buy him PS3 games, Sippy cups and cleaning supplies. “Dave was already in a cab waiting for me out front. He took me home, and he went his own way with all the stuff I just bought for him,” he recalled.

Dow told police he had only been home for about 10 minutes when MacDonald called him again and asked to meet with him near Triple A Lumber. “I met up with Dave, and he gave me the credit card again, and I went into Walmart and bought girls’ clothes for Dave with the credit card he gave me,” Dow said in his statement, noting they again then called a cab and went to their respective homes.

“Dave called me up and wanted to meet up again, and I said, ‘No.’ Dave told me this was the last time,” he said, noting the two men met up near The Open Net and walked together to Walmart.

“Dave gave me the red credit card again and told me to buy a 55-inch television, a PS 3 with a paddle and a truck for a kid’s birthday,” he said, acknowledging the used the credit card again to purchase those items. “Dave stayed on the railroad tracks while I was in the store. I walked the tv on my shoulders to the railroad tracks and gave it to Dave. He gave me a pack of cigarettes. I walked the tracks toward 420 home, and Dave left with the all the stuff and the tv,” he noted.

MacDonald, in the statement he provided police, said the two men had been in Walmart at that same time on May 1. He said he was doing some grocery shopping and ended up behind Dow in a checkout line. “He checked out and asked the employee to call him a cab. I checked out behind him, and I told the employee I needed a cab as well,” he said, noting he paid for his items with his benefit card and ended up leaving Walmart in the same cab as Dow. “I did not have any more interaction with (Dow) at any point in time later in the day,” he told police in his statement.

Court documents indicate Dow was caught on camera using the stolen credit card to purchase items at Walmart at 4:19 a.m. May 1 and that he had purchased $3,573.40 worth of merchandise before Mr. Frank was able to cancel his credit card.

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