Erie County District Attorney's Office

09/27/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/27/2023 08:35

Shoplifter Indicted for Stealing Merchandise from Several Retailers After Being Banned from the Walden Galleria

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 59-year-old Gary E. White, also known as Gary Johnson, of Buffalo was arraigned yesterday afternoon before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek on an indictment charging him withthree counts of Burglary in the Third Degree, one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (Class "D" felonies), one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree and one count of Petit Larceny (Class "A" misdemeanors).

It is alleged that on January 16, 2023, the defendant knowingly entered and remained unlawfully inside of the Walden Galleria in the Town of Cheektowaga with the intent to commit a crime. The defendant allegedly stole a large quantity of merchandise from a department store located inside of the shopping mall by exiting without paying for the items. The defendant is accused of knowingly violating a no trespass order issued following a prior shoplifting incident.

It is further alleged that on January 23, 2023, the defendant stole sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets from the same department store at the Walden Galleria by exiting without paying for the items. The stolen merchandise, valued at approximately $5,048, was recovered in the parking lot as the defendant fled.

It is also alleged that on April 20, 2023, the defendant stole shoes, clothing and other merchandise from multiple retailers inside of the Walden Galleria. A store manager witnessed the shoplifting incident and called 911. A responding Cheektowaga Police officer allegedly found stolen merchandise inside of the defendant's bag.

White is scheduled to return on Thursday, November 2, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He was held without bail.

If convicted of the highest charge, White faces a maximum of 7 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department for their work in these investigations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Jurusik of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions (SIP) Unit and member of the Retail Crime Task Force.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.