Hunt ends for Allegany County man wanted in 4 counties

OSSIAN — The hunt for an Allegany County man suspected of a string of crimes in four counties ended in Ossian Thursday morning.

Livingston County Sheriff's Deputies took Edward Bancroft into custody without incident, ending a search that began when Bancroft fled law enforcement in the Town of Eagle, Wyoming County Tuesday night.

Bancroft was located shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday morning in a Bonner Road home in rural Ossian.The road borders the Canaseraga State Forest, with the Ossian State Forest and the Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area nearby. 

Livingston County deputies had a strong presence in the area after Bancroft allegedly stole a truck in Almond in Allegany County. State Police, who also investigated a stolen ATV in Almond, said they pursued Bancroft to Ossian, where he ditched the truck and fled on foot.

State Police announced Bancroft was believed to be in the area of the Livingston/Allegany County line Thursday morning, while the Livingston County Sheriff's Office issued an advisory that State Police and Sheriff's Deputies were actively looking for a person of interest in recent stolen vehicles, UTVs and tractors in the Ossian area.

Bancroft was taken into custody a short while later.

Bancroft, 31, resides on County Road 16 in the Angelica/Birsdall area, site of a heavily-armed police presence at a trailer park as State Police searched for Bancroft Tuesday afternoon.

The search began when Bancroft was suspected of an arson in Allegany County Tuesday morning. Police believe Bancroft later stole vehicles in both Allegany and Wyoming counties and crashed into a vehicle in Eagle before stealing a UTV. Bancroft then ditched the UTV and fled on foot into the woods in Eagle as police pursued, before he allegedly later turned up in Almond, back in Allegany County.

State Police said Bancroft is the suspect in multiple vehicle larcenies under investigation by the State Police and Livingston County Sheriff’s Office occurring across Wyoming, Livingston, Steuben, and Allegany counties, as well as the arson in Allegany County.

The full extent of the charges against Bancroft in each county had yet to be released Thursday night. Information will appear in print and online as it is made available.