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Hogansburg man charged with taking girlfriend’s car while she was in store

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MASSENA - A Hogansburg man faces several charges after he allegedly took his girlfriend’s vehicle following an argument while she was inside a store using the bathroom.

Massena-based state police charged Charles A. Cook, 41, of 48 Laughing Road, with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and petit larceny, operation of his vehicle outside restrictions requiring him to have an ignition interlock device on any vehicle he operated and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle stemming from an incident that took place at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday.

He allegedly took a 2004 vehicle belonging to his girlfriend, Cary Bero, without her permission while she was inside the Mobil gas station Saturday night in the town of Massena. The petit larceny count alleges Cook threw Ms. Bero’s cell phone out of the vehicle a few minutes earlier while they were on state Route 37.

Cook was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and released under the supervision of the probation department. The court also signed a temporary order of protection directing him not to harass, annoy or alarm Ms. Bero.

She told troopers she had not given Cook permission to take her vehicle when she stopped at the Mobil station on Route 37 to use the bathroom as they were returning home after picking up a car part in Massena.

“Prior to this incident, Charles has been acting weird lately. When I came back out, the car was gone. Charles does not have a license. At no time did I give him permission to take my car. Charles also threw my cell phone out of the window before we got to the gas station. I don’t know why he did that,” she said, noting in her statement to police that her Blackberry was valued at approximately $200.

Cook, in his statement to police, admitted she had taken his girlfriend’s vehicle. “While Cary was inside (the Mobil station), I got into the driver’s seat and drive away. I drive directly to a friend’s house on Cook Road and stayed there all night,” he said, noting he was woken up at 9:15 a.m. Sunday by a tribal police officer investigating a stolen vehicle complaint, taken into custody and turned over to state police.

But Cook, in his statement, denied damaging Ms. Bero’s cell phone. He claimed she grabbed his cell phone out of his hands and threw it out the passenger window and then threw her own cell phone out that same window.

“We were arguing over text messages I received from my ex-wife in reference to my children I have with my ex-wife. Cary thinks I am trying to get back with my ex-wife,” he said in his statement.

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