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September 22, 2018

Accused Scam Artist Nabbed in Phoenix after Chase


Christopher Vanetten, in a mugshot provided by State Police.

Christopher Vanetten, in a mugshot provided by State Police.

Christopher Vanetten’s run from the law ended in Phoenix Friday night with one last run.

State Police say they tried to pull a car over on County Rt. 12 in Schroeppel at about 10:00 p.m. after a check revealed a suspended vehicle registration.  The car didn’t stop.  Instead, it sped up and headed for the village of Phoenix.

Once there, police say the driver jumped out of the car on Barnes St. and ran away.  The passenger in the car moved over and drove off with the vehicle, police said.

After what police describe as a short chase, the driver was caught.

The driver, Vanetten, is wanted in Onondaga County on grand larceny and fraud charges.

NewsChannel 9’s On The Lookout profiled Vanetten recently.  The profile described Vanetten as “a jack of all trades, who can help you around the house, [who isn’t] all that he pretends to be.”

Officials told the station that Vanetten allegedly took money for home improvements but didn’t do the work, took money to buy cars for people at an auto auction but never bought the cars, and other things.

Now, on top of the fraud and larceny counts, he’s accused of fleeing a police officer and a bunch of traffic infractions.

Vanetten, 37, of 1252 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Kirkville, is in the Oswego County Correctional Facility without bail.

The woman who police say took off with the vehicle, Christina A. Pontello, 39, of 7135 Lake Shore Rd., Cicero, is charged with obstructing governmental administration.  She was given a ticket and released.

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