Montgomery County

Amsterdam police probe rash of vandalism across city

Police are investigating a rash of vandalism that occurred throughout the city over the past several

Police are investigating a rash of vandalism that occurred throughout the city over the past several weeks.

Late last month, 32 cars had one or more tires punctured from the East End to western parts of the city, and police said the vehicles apparently were chosen at random.

Earlier this week, police reported that windows in residents’ homes had been damaged with rocks and pellet guns. Also, three cars — all left unlocked — parked on three different streets were stolen outside the owner’s home.

Two days later, the vehicles were recovered but one had been crashed into a tree and was totaled.

“The incidents are occurring throughout the city and usually overnight,” Lt. Det. Kurt Conroy said. “Forbes Street, John Street, Arnold Avenue, Locust Street and Church Street had reports of rocks thrown at the windows. Pulaski Street, Locust Street, Clizbe Avenue, McCleary Avenue had reports of BB guns shattering windows.”

He is reminding residents to lock the doors to their cars and alert the Police Department if they notice any suspicious activity.

Conroy said he believes the most recent incidents are unrelated to the tire-slashing incidents several weeks ago. He said that the Police Department has not found any reason to believe gangs were involved. He added, though, that the department is looking for any trends or patterns that are common between the two sets of incidents.

“Right now we see these acts as random,” he said. “But you never know, that could be a sign of a trend as well.”

Conroy said those involved could face serious criminal charges.

“Using pellet guns and rocks to break windows is criminal mischief,” he said. “Because the amount of property damages is above $250, the people could face felony charges.”

Mayor Ann Thane is calling on city residents to band together and join local neighborhood watch groups to be the “eyes and ears” for an undermanned police force.

“When people in the city get together they don’t have to act like the police but they can look for suspicious activities and alert the police,” she said.

Thane said the recent incidents are unfortunate and give a bad name to a city that is very safe. “I understand people in the city are upset, but this is a chance to work together and become engaged to fight this problem,” she said. “Whenever there is a violation issue, people get upset but they must see the big picture and work to keep the community safe.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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