Subscriber login

News
What you need to know for 11/20/2017

Police: 67 guns stolen in Glenville heist; all believed involved in custody

Police: 67 guns stolen in Glenville heist; all believed involved in custody

About 20 have been recovered, chief says
Police: 67 guns stolen in Glenville heist; all believed involved in custody
Jose Fontanez, 36, was arrested at his home in the Oct. 23 burglary at Target Sports in Glenville.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ; provided

ALBANY — All of those believed responsible for a gun store heist last month in Glenville have been arrested, according to Glenvillle police.

Police on Monday also gave the total number of guns believed taken in the Oct. 23 burglary at Target Sports as 67, up from the previously reported more than 40. 

Of those, about 20 have been recovered, Glenville Police Chief Steve Janik said.

Jose Fontanez, 36, the second named suspect in the heist, was arrested at his home Sunday, police said. He was arraigned in federal court Monday afternoon and ordered held. 

Fontanez's arrest follows the arrest of Christian Roman — the other person of interest named by police in the wake of the burglary — late last week. 

"At this point in time we would like to report that all three agencies involved in this investigation do believe that we have the two main actors in custody at this time," Janik said.

A third person, who sources identified as a 37-year-old woman named Dalmary Morales-Sepulveda, is being held on unrelated drug and weapons charges, but is described as a person of interest. 

Federal, state and local authorities named both Roman and Fontanez as suspects days after the incident. Roman now faces a federal count of receipt, possession, concealment and storage of a stolen firearm, while Fontanez faces one count of theft of firearms from a licensed dealer.

GUNTHEFTStarget2.jpg

The 122 Saratoga Road store was broken into early on Oct. 23, and police have previously said they believed three people spent more than two hours making off with the firearms. A security system at the store failed to alert authorities. Janik, however, left open the possibility Monday that two went in and what investigators saw were changes in clothes.

Those arrested have been cooperative, he said.

At least one thief left behind blood at the scene, something Janik confirmed was helpful to the investigation.

The overall investigation is now into its third week and Janik commended the work by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, state police and his Glenville investigators.

"It took some real extensive investigation, a lot of help from informants and a lot of good police work," Janik said of making the arrests.

But the ongoing work is in recovering the guns, he said. That's a priority. 

Police located the car believed used in the crime in Schenectady the evening of Oct. 23 and interviewed people believed to have knowledge of the caper, police said.

Inside a residence near where police found the car, police found a notebook containing handwritten notes describing models and quantities of firearms consistant with those taken from Target Sports. Police also found gun tags that matched the stolen firearms.

One of the gun tags corresponded to a rifle recovered at a Schenectady storage locker Oct. 26. Investigators believe Roman rented the locker less than 24 hours after the heist under an assumed name, according to court documents unsealed last week.

The documents cited a single gun recovered there, a Springfield Armory 7.62-caliber rifle. Janik confirmed Monday that more guns were also found in that location; however, the total recovered so far were found in multiple locations.

"We're still actively investigating those persons that may be involved in moving those weapons," Janik said.

One mystery in the case has been the store's alarm system. It failed to notify the store's owners or police. Subsequent tests of the system have not revealed a cause for the malfunction, and investigators are still trying to determine what went wrong. 

Dennis Donoghue, one of the Target Sports owners, said Monday that further tests and visits by their security company have ensured that the system is working now. They are also looking into further security measures.

The FBI has also stopped by to look at the system, Donoghue said.

However, police now believe the system simply malfunctioned, Janik said.

"It'd be safe for us to say there was a failure of the system to work properly," Janik said. "In easy terms, I think they got lucky."

Anyone with information about the burglary or the firearms 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 ATFTips@atf.gov, by visiting www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips or through the report it app.

View Comments
Hide Comments
0 premium 1 premium 2 premium 3 premium 4 premium 5 premium article articles remaining SUBSCRIBE TODAY

You have reached your monthly premium content limit.

Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber.
Already a subscriber? Log In