Lifting weights is encouraged at local YMCAs. Lifting wallets isn’t.
Two area men have been arrested, accused of using a scheme to get into at least four area YMCAs, then going through belongings to take cash and credit cards.
The pair allegedly pretended to be interested in memberships, would take a tour and do physical fitness activities, police said. Then, when left unsupervised, they would use smuggled bolt cutters to break into lockers and rifle through belongings.
The YMCAs hit, state police said, included locations in Glenville, Amsterdam, East Greenbush and Glens Falls.
Michael B. Somma, 30, of 1400 Crescent Road, Clifton Park, and Kevin D. Hogle, 30, formerly of Schenectady, were each charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony.
The men were heroin users, turning the cash and credit cards into drugs, state police spokeswoman Maureen Tuffey said.
The two were arrested earlier this month after an incident in Glens Falls was caught on surveillance video, providing an explanation and good description of the thieves and their vehicle, Tuffey said.
Trooper Robert L. Mower spotted a vehicle matching the description Jan. 12. The car was in the parking lot of the Exit 21 Mobil station on Route 9N in Lake George. He then spotted two men approaching the car. The men also matched the description of the suspects in Glens Falls. They were arrested without incident. One of them quickly admitted involvement, police said.
Police later linked them to the other three thefts. They used a similar scheme in each, police said.
Some of the stolen property was recovered at a location in Rotterdam, police said. In one case, $2,000 was charged to a stolen card from Glens Falls.
Tuffey noted the Glens Falls surveillance cameras provided important information. Without that information, it would have been difficult to connect everything, she said.
“How do they track a broken lock back to people who take a tour?” she said. “I think that’s why they were successful in going to four of them.”
Donna Pravel, executive director of the Greater Glenville YMCA, said they tell members to take standard precautions, like locking up belongings.
“This is something that rarely happens at our facility,” she said. “We take every precaution to keep it from happening.”
Somma and Hogle were ordered held at the Warren County Jail, one on $25,000 bail, the other without bail because of prior felonies.
Hogle has spent time in prison three times in the past 10 years, on robbery, burglary and assault charges in Schenectady and Albany counties, records show.
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Categories: Schenectady County