Anthony T. Sanders, who recently spent eight months in jail for conning elderly women out of money, was arrested Friday for robbing a good Samaritan of $100 after causing the man's van to crash, police said.
Sanders, who is wanted by several police agencies, including the Ontario Provincial Police, was charged with second-degree robbery and reckless endangerment after Detectives Patrick Corsaro and Patricia McCune said he was trying to cheat an 89-year-old woman out of $200.
Sanders bummed a ride Wednesday from a Lewiston man who volunteers at the Community Missions Soup Kitchen, stating he wanted to recover an impounded vehicle, Corsaro said.
Sanders asked David Whitehall of Tuscarora Street if he had change for a $20 bill. When Whitehall, 52, checked his wallet, Sanders asked to see a $100 bill so he could show Whitehall a trick.
But Sanders then asked to be let out and Whitehall said "not until he returned the $100 bill," Corsaro said. Sanders grabbed the steering wheel, causing the van to crash into a fence, wall and tree, and overturn. Sanders escaped with the money and Whitehall, suffering a hand laceration and pain to the back, elbow and knee, was treated at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Thursday, an elderly woman's daughter complained that a man matching Sanders' description had bilked her mother out of $300, stating it was needed by her grandson, Corsaro said.
Corsaro said the scam was identical to one that Sanders pulled on at least eight elderly women last fall in Lockport and Lewiston, which landed him in jail late last year.
When they were told Sanders was trying to hit up the same woman for $200 more on Friday, detectives had the woman tell the suspect she would put the money in an envelope and leave it in her mailbox.
Detectives said they staked out the area and arrested the suspect as he started to head to the woman's house.
Sanders is being held in the City Jail without bail pending arraignment Monday in City Court, police said.
Sanders also was arrested on three warrants for failure to appear in court on charges of criminal impersonation, attempted petit larceny, menacing and resisting arrest. Police said he also is being detained for the Ontario Provincial Police in Canada on two criminal incidents involving alleged extortion and threats.
Corsaro said Sanders is also wanted on five county warrants, and Lockport detectives also want him for questioning.