SAVONA - A two-month investigation into a reported Savona home invasion and assault resulted in multiple arrests linked to an extensive string of burglaries, according to Bath-based New York State Police.
Dakota E. Tosch, 19, of Campbell, Dakota J. Kidder, 20, of Campbell, Elisha I. Blake, 17, of Campbell, Chance C. LaViolette, 19, of Elkland, Pa., and a Painted Post juvenile were each arrested and are facing several charges.
During the early morning hours of Aug. 15, police say four of the suspects, Tosch, Kidder, LaViolette, and the juvenile, allegedly forced entry into a home on Orchard Street in Savona with the intent to steal money and property.
Troopers said it is also alleged that, while masked or covering their faces to conceal their identities, the suspects assaulted and restrained the homeowner and injured him repeatedly with a screwdriver in their possession.
Officials said during the incident, a female companion sleeping in an adjacent room was alerted by the sounds of the struggle. Police believe the female confronted the suspects utilizing a hammer she was able to obtain to defend herself.
The confrontation caused the suspects to flee without having taken any money or property, police said.
After receiving numerous tips from the public, investigators were able to identify and interview several suspects, according to Investigator Brian W. Mayhew.
Following the interviews, Mayhew they were able to link the suspects to a string of burglaries spanning the past several months in both New York and Pennsylvania.
Troopers said these additional burglaries include unreported instances in the Village of Savona, the Lindley Community Church and the Presho Methodist Church.
Mayhew said the suspects were also linked to at least five burglaries in the state of Pennsylvania.
Police said a search of a suspect’s residence in the Town of Campbell and roadside searches in the area of Interstate Highway 99 located a large quantity of drug paraphernalia, as well as various weapons, novelty items, electronics and other proceeds from the alleged crimes.
Tosch and Kidder were charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief. Each were arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail for each charge.
Blake was charged with second-degree burglary. He was released to the custody of his legal guardian with further action pending.
The juvenile was charged with first-degree burglary. The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent with further court action pending.
LaViolette fled the state shortly after the incident, police said. He was later located in Lebanon, Oregon, and taken into custody by the Lebanon Police Department on outstanding arrest warrants lodged in three different states.
LaViolette is currently being held in Oregon and is awaiting extradition to New York state where he will face charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
In addition to burglarizing area small businesses, the suspects are believed to have targeted other individuals they knew to possess either a quantity of marijuana, narcotics, or a significant amount of money in an effort to avoid having the incidents reported to law enforcement.
The investigation is ongoing, and troopers would like to thank the community for their continued support. Additional charges pending the indictment of the suspects by the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office.