Being found with a gym bag filled with a stack of crisp $20 bills and several hundred dollars in singles the day after an area automated teller machine and a jukebox were broken into is a good way to draw the attention of the state police.
That’s the lesson Scott Clapper likely learned this week after he was found with the cash following a routine traffic stop in Cobleskill Sunday evening, according to police. The find came the day after troopers began investigating a break-in at the Quaker Inn in nearby Duanesburg, in which the jukebox had been vandalized and ATM machine stolen.
Clapper was initially stopped for having tail and brake lights out on his vehicle. But further investigation revealed he had a license that was both expired and suspended, which led police to have his vehicle towed.
“Because his vehicle had to be towed, the trooper had to do an inventory,” state police spokesman Mark Cepiel said Wednesday. “That led to the discovery of the cash.”
Later during a search of Clapper’s home, investigators found items that they say linked him to a burglary in Schenectady County and an attempted break-in at Jonathan’s Restaurant in Duanesburg. Clapper was also linked to a third burglary — at the Quaker Inn of Duanesburg — during the investigation.
Clapper, 28, was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and one count of attempted third-degree burglary. He was arraigned in Princetown Town Court and sent to the Schenectady County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail. He was scheduled to appear in Duanesburg Court Wednesday evening.
Clapper has a lengthy record of arrest, including for forging checks and unlawful imprisonment.
Since Thanksgiving, state police and authorities in Montgomery County and Schoharie County have investigated a number of burglaries across the region. These investigations are ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated, according to state police.
“This investigation is not closed,” Cepiel said.