Ex-guard accused of armed robbery

A fired security guard allegedly stole a safe from his former workplace Tuesday night after pointing

A fired security guard allegedly stole a safe from his former workplace Tuesday night after pointing a handgun at a guard and tying him up, Colonie police said Wednesday.

Police arrested Kenneth H. Zeller, 75, of 496 Route 32, Schuylerville, at his home shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday without incident.

Zeller faces first-degree robbery and second-degree burglary charges, both felonies, in the armed robbery at Blue Shield of Northeastern New York at 30 Century Hill Drive in Colonie.

Zeller was arraigned and sent to Albany County Jail without bail.

Lt. Robert Winn said Zeller may face additional charges, including felony weapons charges, if police can determine that the gun Zeller pointed at the security guard was loaded.

Winn said he is unsure whether the handgun was loaded. “We have recovered both loaded and unloaded weapons from his residence,” he said.

Zeller’s attorney, Alan Lecours, of Saratoga Springs, said police have arrested the wrong man. “My client denies he did it. I think police identified the wrong person,” he said.

Lecours said Blue Shield security guard identified Zeller as the man who tied him up.

Winn said Zeller entered the Blue Shield building around 11 p.m. Tuesday, using keys he still possessed from when he worked there as a security guard. Securitas Security Corp. fired him three weeks ago, Winn said. He did not know why.

After Zeller entered the building, he tried to open a security safe containing cash and other items. A security guard confronted Zeller and Zeller pointed a handgun at him, Winn said.

According to the police account, Zeller tied up the security guard and moved the safe outside the building using a hand truck. Police recovered the safe unopened outside the Blue Shield building.

Winn said negotiators from the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department coaxed Zeller from his home after police surrounded it. They called him on the phone and he came out unarmed.

Winn said Zeller did not give a motive for the robbery. He said Zeller, a widower, has no criminal history.

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