Schenectady County

Woman fights with brazen nighttime burglar

An elderly Colonie woman fought with an intruder in her home early Saturday in the latest of a strin

An elderly Colonie woman fought with an intruder in her home early Saturday during what police say is part of a string of brazen nighttime burglaries in the neighborhood.

The 72-year-old woman was asleep in her East Cobble Hill Road home around 1:30 a.m. when she was awakened by the burglar in her bedroom.

The two struggled and she tried to hit him with a glass lamp, police said. The lamp broke, but apparently not on the suspect, and she is believed to have suffered a scrape on her arm as a result.

The suspect then overpowered her, got her to the floor and told her to stay there while he finished going through her jewelry, police said.

He soon made off with jewelry believed to be worth tens of thousands of dollars, police said.

The burglar is believed to have entered the second floor of the home, dressed in black, including a mask and gloves. The mask means he was going in expecting to encounter people, police said.

“It’s certainly very brazen,” police spokesman Lt. Robert Winn said. “He’s prepared for the fact that he potentially will be confronted by somebody.”

The same man is suspected to have committed three other break-ins in the area since June, police said.

Winn said police also note that the suspect appears very organized, bringing his tools and using some sort of climbing device with him .

Police Saturday morning responded to the call with assistance from an Albany police K-9 unit but were unable to locate the burglar. The police dog led police to the road, but lost the scent there. That leads police to believe the suspect either had a car waiting for him or someone picked him up.

Also over the weekend, a home on West Cobble Hill Road was burglarized, though nothing has been confirmed to be missing.

That break-in is believed to have happened late Friday or early Sunday and was discovered after the resident returned home Sunday, police said.

Both break-ins are consistent with two other burglaries reported June 24 that also happened on West Cobble Hill Road early in the morning.

The burglar in each case entered through a second-floor window. In one of the houses, the suspect made off with another haul of tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. Residents of that home were home at the time, but slept through the burglary, police said.

Nothing was taken from the other home after the suspect triggered the home’s alarm system.

Winn said police have been checking with surrounding police departments, and even put out a call to police along the Eastern Seaboard looking for any similar break-ins. So far, they’ve heard of none.

Brazen night burglaries with residents home are “extremely rare,” Winn said.

Police have found no connection among the homes targeted, other than being in the same affluent neighborhood.

Police reminded residents to be alert for suspicious persons and vehicles, to keep doors and windows locked, alarms activated and lights on.

Anyone with information on the burglaries was asked to contact Colonie police at 783-2744.

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