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Police: Man leaving court needed a ride ... so he stole a car

A Buffalo man who was leaving court after answering charges on a larceny case tried to steal a ride home, according to the West Seneca Police Department.

Lawrence T. Zielinski, 46, was charged Monday with grand larceny of a vehicle and several other charges after police say he stole a car from a store parking lot after leaving West Seneca Town Court.

Zielinski said he was walking south on Union Road to Southgate Plaza, a distance of about a half-mile, to catch a bus, according to police. Zielinski told police that during his walk he noticed a vehicle in the parking lot of a Rite Aid store with its engine running.

According to police, Zielinski said that he "was just trying to get home, so I took it."

While driving north on Union Road, Zielinski was pulled over by police for driving without headlights on. During the traffic stop, police said Zielinski gave the officer a false name and date of birth before dispatch notified the officer that the car had been stolen less than a mile away.

Zielinski was taken into custody and returned to the same building he had been in for his court appearance as he was booked at the West Seneca Police Department.

The owner of the vehicle was able to retrieve it.

Zielinski was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal possession of a stolen vehicle, third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, false personation, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and several traffic infractions.

He was released on an appearance ticket and is due back in West Seneca Court on Wednesday.

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