Mechanicville police arrested a city man Monday, soon after they said he robbed a pharmacy to pay for illegal street drugs. They also named him “a person of interest” in six recent city burglaries.
Police said that Carmen Cammuso, 24, of 511 Chesnut St., entered the CVS on Central Avenue at 8:30 a.m., pulled a hat over his face and demanded money from the cashier.
Cammuso claimed to have a weapon but didn’t display one before leaving the store with $70, according to police.
An officer arrested Cammuso about 20 minutes after the robbery when he spotted him walking about three blocks away from CVS wearing clothes that were similar to the description of the suspect, Police Chief Joseph Waldron said.
“Good police work caught him,” Waldron said.
Police also found a coat near CVS that contained a hypodermic needle. Waldron said that Cammuso later admitted that it was his coat and that he stole the money to buy drugs.
Cammuso was charged with third-degree robbery and petty larceny. He was sent to the Saratoga County Jail with bail set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond.
It was not the first time Cammuso had run afoul of the law in Mechanicville.
He was arrested in January after police said he entered a family member’s house through an unlocked door and stole a video game system. He was released after that incident pending a court date, Waldron said.
Mechanicville police have been tracking a series of burglaries since late December that they now say may be connected to Cammuso.
The first occurred when someone broke into a home on Dec. 12 and stole a video game system and movies, Waldron said.
Waldron also cited recent burglaries at Penny’s Cafe and Faldoni’s Deli. The burglar stole at least $100 at each restaurant while the businesses were closed.
Faldoni’s co-owner Dave Quillinan said that the burglar kicked in the deli’s door and stole money from the cash register before the deli opened on the morning of Feb. 1. The company’s insurance paid for a new door, he said.
“When somebody’s desperate, they go and they break into places,” Waldron said. “When you’ve broken into enough places you move to the next step, which is robbery.”
Other recent burglaries included $4,000 stolen from Carol Realty on Park Avenue and food stolen from Bucciero’s Pizzeria.
Cammuso was charged with second-degree burglary after the video game system theft in January, Waldron said. He will face that charge as well as the pair of charges in connection with today’s robbery in city court on Wednesday, Feb. 27.