A longtime Daily Gazette newspaper carrier was assaulted and had his car stolen while working his route early Wednesday morning in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood.
The carrier is a Colonie resident about 60 years of age, according to Steve Ostrander, the Gazette’s director of circulation operations, who would not provide the man’s name.
Schenectady Police Lt. Mark McCracken said the victim was delivering papers in the 300 block of Germania Avenue around 3:21 a.m. Wednesday when the crime occurred. The carrier was placing a paper on a subscriber’s porch when a man in his 20s jumped into his car, which had been left running and unattended.
McCracken said the carrier approached the man and a scuffle ensued. The carrier was punched in the face, and the suspect made off with the vehicle, traveling in an unknown direction.
The thief is described as being 5 feet 6 inches tall and 130 pounds, and of unknown race.
Following the incident, the carrier called his brother and the police from his cellphone.
McCracken said the victim received medical attention for an abrasion.
The carrier has been delivering papers for the Gazette for more than 35 years, according to Ostrander.
“It’s his only income and he does a wonderful job,” he said. “He’s probably in the top five as far as carrier service for us.”
No arrest has been made in the case and the vehicle has not been recovered.
McCracken noted it is illegal to leave a car running and unattended anywhere in the state, but despite that, it happens often and is the biggest cause of motor vehicle theft in Schenectady. The Gazette carrier was not ticketed, however.
Ostrander said it’s important for all newspaper carriers to be aware of their surroundings, and suggested that they carry a flashlight and a cellphone with them.
“I hate to put a scare into the community, but you also want to make them aware,” he said.