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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • State?police, sheriffs team up in hunt for alleged vehicle, gun thief

  • State police investigators combed the Avoca area Tuesday for a man suspected of stealing a Jeep after allegedly helping another individual steal a shotgun and handgun.

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  • State police investigators combed the Avoca area Tuesday for a man suspected of stealing a Jeep after allegedly helping another individual steal a shotgun and handgun.
    Sgt. Gary Wightman of the New York State Police said a five-hour search for Tyler Davis, 19, of Penn Yan, was called off Tuesday night due to darkness.
    Wightman said the teen may have stolen a Jeep in Macedon after the alleged theft of a shotgun and a .22 handgun in Penn Yan.
    The other firearms theft suspect was arrested by Penn Yan police and the shotgun was recovered, Wightman said.
    Wightman said Davis was seen running away from the allegedly stolen Jeep in Avoca, but no one actually saw him carrying a handgun.
    Wightman said Davis does not have a history of violence, and there is no reason to believe drugs were a factor in the crimes.
    However, because Davis was a suspect in the firearms theft, law enforcement needed to proceed with caution for public safety reasons, Wightman said.
    That caution led Avoca Central School Superintendent Richard Yochem to order a lockdown around 2 p.m. Tuesday, holding all students inside their classrooms and alerting parents.
    Yochem said state police told him a suspicious individual had been seen in a vehicle parked in a cemetery near the school and might be armed.
    As the school responded to the emergency, state troopers and investigators teamed up with the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office to search for Davis, believed to have fled into the 500 square acres of thickly wooded hills near the school.
    Heavily armed police fanned out in large numbers, drawing a perimeter from the school about two miles north to County Route 7. Police dogs and helicopters were brought in to aid the search.
    Davis grew up on County Route 7 and is very familiar with the area, according to Wightman.
    The lockdown at Avoca Central School was ended around 4 p.m., with investigators stationed at school exits.
    See related video on  The Courier’s website: www.steubencourier.com

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