Allegany County man suspected in string of crimes in multiple counties

OSSIAN — More charges are possible as multiple law enforcement agencies continue to investigate a slew of alleged crimes committed by an Allegany County man. 

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reported Friday morning that Edward M. Bancroft is facing felony level charges after a multi-agency investigation and manhunt. 

Bancroft, 31, of Angelica, was charged by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office with second-degree burglary (class C felony), petit larceny (class A misdemeanor) and fourth-degree criminal mischief (class A misdemeanor).

The arrest comes after investigations by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office and the State Police stationed in Amity in regards to stolen ATV/UTV's, vehicles and farm equipment over the course of the past month.

Bancroft was involved in a car chase with the State Police in the late evening hours Wednesday in the Town of Ossian after allegedly stealing a truck in the Almond area. Bancroft crashed the vehicle in a field off of Blank Hill Road, which skims the Canaseraga State Forest. Bancroft ultimately fled on foot and was able to elude law enforcement.

On Thursday, he was located and taken into custody by the members of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's Office personnel from the Command Staff, Criminal Investigations Division and Patrol Division were in the Town of Ossian attempting to locate Bancroft when a resident called in a suspicious condition on Bonner Road. The resident reported an open garage door at a residence which should not have been open.

Deputy Sheriffs found that forced entry had been made to the residence and Bancroft was found inside the residence.

Bancroft was taken into custody by Deputy Sheriffs without incident. Investigators Brad Schneider and Dan Rittenhouse, along with Sergeant Chad VanAuken and Deputy Devin Ricks handled the apprehension of Bancroft.

Bancroft was brought to the Livingston County Jail to await arraignment in the Central Arraignment Part (LC- CAP) on the above charges as well as an arrest warrant for third-degree burglary from a previous incident. The District Attorney's Office was contacted for a bail recommendation due to the felony level charges and recommended bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Bancroft was later arraigned in CAP Court by Town of York Justice Thomas Porter. The Judge did remand Bancroft to the custody of the Sheriff on $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.

The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate other incidents believed to be linked to Bancroft and more charges are possible. The Sheriff’s Office also continues to work collaboratively with State Police in Amity.

Bancroft is suspected of an arson in Allegany County committed Tuesday morning. Police believe Bancroft later stole vehicles in both Allegany and Wyoming counties and crashed into a vehicle in Eagle, Wyoming County before stealing a UTV. Bancroft then ditched the UTV and fled on foot into the woods in Eagle as police pursued Tuesday night. 

State Police have 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.