Schenectady County

Niskayuna police probe as many as 100 thefts

A rash of summertime thefts has local police urging residents to lock their cars and garages and kee

A rash of summertime thefts has local police urging residents to lock their cars and garages and keep valuables out of view.

Police made the announcement Thursday and said they’d received an estimated 100 reports since the beginning of June of property being taken from unlocked cars or open garages.

The reports consist of thefts of loose change, GPS units, credit cards and other valuables, police spokesman Detective Sgt. Daniel McManus said.

“People feel a certain safety in Niskayuna, and we want them to feel that way,” he said. “We work hard so they can feel that way. Unfortunately, there are people who look for the opportunity to commit these types of crimes.”

Both patrol officers and detectives have been working hard investigating, responding and trying to prevent the crimes, McManus said.

Seven arrests have already been made, he said: a group of three people and four individuals. While they account for some of the thefts, many remain unsolved.

Some of the suspects were connected to several open cases, McManus said, and some had property on them that suggested they might be responsible for other thefts, but police couldn’t connect them to specific acts.

The three burglary suspects were arrested through investigation. At least one of the other suspects was arrested with the help of a witness.

Having residents report incidents or even suspicions to police is important, McManus said. And it’s important to make the call immediately. Too often, he said, police get called the following day, after thefts are discovered.

“They tell us they heard something at 3 in the morning, but didn’t want to call because it didn’t seem like a real emergency,” McManus said. “So we really encourage people to pick up the phone and dial 911. We’ll investigate it.”

McManus said he wouldn’t want to speculate if there is a larger ring out there or if it is just individuals being opportunistic. He said investigators are aware of other municipalities having similar problems and police departments are sharing information.

Most of the thefts have been to unlocked cars or open garages, McManus said. He couldn’t remember one where there was forced entry.

He said residents should lock their cars and garages and remove their valuables, or at least hide them from view. Around their house, they should also ensure proper lighting to deter thefts, “a common-sense approach to securing your property.”

“We are taking all the steps that we can take, both in patrol and investigations, to solve the crimes and just hoping that residents of the town will help us and reach out to us when they see things happen,” McManus said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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