BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo man who admitted to several crimes, including stealing the car of Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone, will spend time in jail.
On Tuesday, Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi sentenced Joshua Hobes, 20, to serve one year in a local jail after he pleaded guilty to six charges including larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and identity theft.
Prosecutors say in January, Hobes went into Bishop Malone's residence, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, on Oakwood Place in Buffalo. He took another priest's jacket along with keys to the car and credit cards he used in various stores. Police later arrested him driving the vehicle during a routine traffic stop in Rochester. Last fall, Hobes also stole an Erie County sheriff deputy's SUV from her home in Depew, as well as another vehicle in the City of Buffalo.
Hobes' attorney, James Auricchio, says his client did not intentionally target these people or seek notoriety through crimes against Bishop Malone or the Erie County Sheriff's Office.
"We don't have a kid that selected his victims," Auricchio said. "We have a kid that was desperate, that was struggling with mental illness, that was struggling with alcohol abuse and that made some horrible decisions."
Judge Bargnesi acknowledged Hobes' struggles with poverty, mental health problems and alcohol abuse. He also warned him the sentence allowed Hobes to avoid time in state prison, but as a convicted felon, if he gets in trouble again, that's exactly where he'll end up.
"When you're having issues that you're having difficulty dealing with, you have to nonetheless refrain from victimizing others,” said Bargnesi.
As for the Buffalo Diocese priest whose jacket and credit cards were stolen, prosecutors say he's forgiven Hobes and even offered to counsel him through this process.
"I hope that Josh will take him up on that opportunity to sit down and have a visit from the Father and discuss things with him," Auricchio said. "He's excited to get back out there and try again and he knows now what he needs to do to start that new chapter in his life."
A spokesperson for the Diocese had no comment on the sentencing.