Two felons arraigned for 2016 carjacking in Wilkes-Barre

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Laws -
Patrick -

WILKES-BARRE — Two state inmates were arraigned Monday on charges they carjacked a woman who they pulled from her vehicle on Diebel Street more than two years ago.

With assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, city police detectives allege Corey Thomas Patrick, 21, and Dametrius Cefus Laws, 23, conspired to steal a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox that was occupied by a woman on April 3, 2016. The woman was parked waiting to pick up her son from a friend’s house when she was assaulted and her vehicle stolen, police said.

Court records say detectives recovered eyeglass frames at the scene that were traced to Patrick, and cell phone records obtained through federal subpoenas indicated the two men were in the area of Diebel Street and where the Chevrolet was recovered on Schoolhouse Lane in Wilkes-Barre.

According to the criminal complaints:

A woman told police she drove to a residence on Diebel Street to pick up her son and noticed two men walking on a sidewalk. She exited her vehicle that was left idling and knocked on the door.

When there was no response, she returned and sat in her vehicle to wait.

While waiting, she told police she was pulled from her vehicle by the two men who drove off in her vehicle.

Police said the woman suffered leg injuries during the carjacking.

Detective work

The vehicle was equipped with a deactivated OnStar account. When the account was turned on, police located the vehicle abandoned on Schoolhouse Lane.

Eyeglasses and a knife were recovered on Diebel Street.

Police traced the eyeglass frame to a retail store in Wilkes-Barre Township.

When police obtained sale records for the eyeglass frame, they learned that Patrick purchased the frame three months before the carjacking. Police also obtained Patrick’s cell phone number on the sales account, the complaints say.

Police later learned through federal subpoenas that Patrick’s and Laws’ cell phones were in the area of the carjacking and later in the area where the vehicle was recovered. Laws’ cell phone was allegedly used to call a taxi, which picked up the two men and a woman near Turkey Hill on North Pennsylvania Avenue on April 3, 2016.

The taxi driver recognized that the woman, who wasn’t identified, was carrying a purse, which police allege belonged to the carjacking victim.

Patrick and Laws were arraigned via video by District Judge Richard Cronauer in Wilkes-Barre on six counts of criminal conspiracy, four counts of robbery, and one count each of theft and receiving stolen property. Bail was set at $250,000 each.

Patrick, formerly of Larksville, is an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Chester, where he is serving a sentence of 14-to-28 months on charges he initiated a pursuit with Logan Township police after a dispute with a girlfriend in Blair County on June 17, 2017, according to court records and the Altoona Mirror newspaper.

Laws, formerly of Plymouth, is an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, where is is serving a five-to-10-year sentence for a home invasion and assault in Plymouth on March 1, 2016, court records say.



By Ed Lewis

[email protected]