LOCKPORT – A Buffalo man, indicted on a felony count of burglary after shoplifting $11.82 worth of property at the Niagara Falls Walmart on Military Road, was spared prison time Tuesday by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.
Reading from a probation officer’s presentencing report, Kloch said Edsil E. Cook, 70, of East Delavan Avenue was described as a “prolific shoplifter.”
He was arrested Jan 9, 2015, for attempting to steal two 9-volt batteries and a pair of pliers. The felony charge was laid because Cook had been banned from all local Walmarts because of repeated thefts.
Kloch said Cook has been arrested 67 times, although only seven of the arrests have come since 2000. He noted that Cook had to take two Metro buses to get to Niagara Falls. “It looks like a really concerted and well-planned effort to come into Niagara County for the purpose of shoplifting,” Kloch said. “When he covered all the territory in Buffalo, he shifted to Niagara County.”
Cook, who was unable to stand at the defense table for more than a few seconds because of two recent surgeries, was placed on five years’ probation for attempted third-degree burglary.