Police say Gloversville kids used in shoplift scheme

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department alleges two Gloversville parents have been teaching th


The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department alleges two Gloversville parents have been teaching their children the wrong way to cut their shopping bill — by shoplifting at the Target store in the town of Amsterdam.

Joseph G. Gurtler, 39, and Beth A. Gurtler, 38, both of 5 Spruce St., are accused of using their 12-year-old son to help steal computer software and they now face felony charges in the scheme that authorities say may have taken place at other stores.

The Gurtlers were arrested over the weekend after sheriff’s deputies and Target store security caught Joseph Gurtler and his 12-year-old son skipping the cash register and heading out of the store with a cart containing computer software hidden in a box.

The sheriff’s department said it believes both parents were involved. They would split up when they got to the store, mother with daughter, father with son, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Raymond Waldynski said.

Police believe Beth A. Gurtler would shop in the store with her daughter, purchase an item or two and then head out to the vehicle.

Then, after Joseph Gurtler did some shopping, the young boy allegedly wheeled the shopping cart outside where his mother and sister waited in the car.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged scheme prior to this weekend’s arrests when Target security called the sheriff’s department alleging Joseph Gurtler was putting software in a shopping cart and sending his son outside without paying for it over the past few months.

The Gurtlers returned on Friday with their two children, and deputies who went to the scene found Joseph Gurtler and his son leaving the store with video software they hadn’t paid for, according to the sheriff’s department.

Waldynski said the software taken out of the store on Friday was valued at $1,539.76.

Deputies said they had to subdue Joseph Gurtler with pepper spray before charging him with fourth-degree grand larceny, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and petty larceny.

Beth Gurtler was charged with fifth-degree conspiracy, sixth-degree conspiracy and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Joseph Gurtler was arraigned in Amsterdam Town Court and sent to the Montgomery County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. Beth Gurtler was issued an appearance ticket.

Categories: Schenectady County

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