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Falls man pleads guilty to jewelry theft

LOCKPORT – A man with a long history of theft arrests in Niagara and Erie counties accepted a plea offer Thursday in State Supreme Court and entered the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

Larry F. Craft Jr., 38, of 92nd Street, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing $1,188 worth of jewelry from the North Tonawanda Walmart on July 29.

Assistant District Attorney John N. Philipps Jr. said the plea deal covered two other larceny charges in Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda.

Craft, who served about four years in prison after a 2006 burglary conviction, risks another four years behind bars if he fails in diversion. But if treatment succeeds, his plea will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a nonjail sentence. Craft said he completed a drug rehabilitation program once before, but relapsed.