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Police name persons of interest in gun store heist

Police name persons of interest in gun store heist

Public offer $15K reward for information that leads to arrest, conviction
Police name persons of interest in gun store heist
Christian Roman, left, and Jose Fontanez, are wanted by Glenville police in connection with the burglary of a Glenville gun shop
Photographer: Provided photo

GLENVILLE  — Police on Friday released the names and photos of two men wanted for questioning in connection with the Target Sports gun store heist.

Police also announced a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Monday morning burglary.

Christian Roman, 23, and Jose J. Fontanez, 36, both recently of the Schenectady County area, are wanted by police as persons of interest in the heist. 

If anyone sees either man or knows where they are, police should be contacted immediately, police said. 

"We believe that they are in the Schenectady County vicinity," Police Chief Steve Janik said Friday in announcing the updates. "Hopefully they are still in the vicinity so that we may locate them."

Asked if police believe they were among the three people seen on surveillance cameras making off with the weapons, Janik said "that's unknown until we speak with them."

Janik also said that police are looking for another person, though he did not give information on that individual.

The 122 Saratoga Road gun store was broken into early Monday morning, and at least three individuals spent more than two hours making off with more than 40 firearms. Police located the car believed used in the operation Monday evening in Schenectady and spoke with other persons of interest, police said, but no arrests have been made.

The store's alarm system failed to notify the store's owners or police. Store owners have said subsequent tests could not find a cause of the malfunction and Janik said police are still working to determine the cause.

"We are looking into some of the reasons why the motion detectors were not working that evening, or early that morning, but we haven't gotten to the bottom of that yet," Janik said.

Fontanez has had ties in Schenectady County going back at least three or four years, records show. 

He spent about eight months at the Schenectady County Jail in 2014 in a drug sale case before completing his sentence in state prison on the third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance conviction, according to county and state records.

Fontanez served his time at a shock incarceration facility, an intensive, boot-camp program. He was released from the program in July 2015 and from supervision a year later, records show.

He was arrested in that case in February 2014 by the Schenectady County Sheriff's Department after an investigation that included drug sales attributed to Fontanez, according to the Schenectady County District Attorney's Office.

A raid of his residence uncovered 13 bundles of heroin, some cocaine and $1,700 in cash stashed in  baby clothing in Fontanez' bedroom closet, The DA's office said.

The potential reward comes from the ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 

While investigators want to speak with Roman and Fontanez, Janik said a top goal is to get the stolen weapons back.

"That is really our desire in this, is the recovery of those weapons so that they are not on the street," Janik said.

Anyone with information about the burglary, the firearms or Roman and Fontanez should contact the Glenville Police Department at 518-384-0135, or the ATF at 1-888-ATF-GUNS (888-283-4867). Tips can also be sent to the ATF by email at [email protected], by visiting www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips or through the ReportIt app.

The investigation is being conducted jointly by the ATF, Glenville police and state police.

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