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Schenectady man pleads guilty in U-Haul can theft case

Schenectady man pleads guilty in U-Haul can theft case

Dunkel stole U-Haul truck with a total of 127 bags filled with bottles and cans, according to police.
Schenectady man pleads guilty in U-Haul can theft case
DC Dunkel, right, and his attorney, Brian Mercy, enter a plea deal in Schenectady County Court
Photographer: Jake Lahut / Gazette Reporter

ROTTERDAM -- A Schenectady man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing a U-Haul truck full of empty bottles and cans from a Rotterdam recycling facility. 

In county court on Monday, DC K. Dunkel, 24, of Mynderse Street, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and second-degree grand larceny charges, both felonies. 

Dunkel, along with co-defendant Kenneth W. Spencer, 40, of Congress Street, Schenectady, were accused of breaking into the trailer at Tomra Recycling Center, 31 Opus Blvd., twice on October 7. On the second occasion, they allegedly filled the rented U-Haul with 127 bags full of bottles and cans.


DC Dunkel, co-defendant Kenneth Spencer and a U-Haul full of cans. (Rotterdam Police)

The plea agreement calls for Dunkel to be sentenced Aug. 13 by Judge Matthew Sypniewski to five years of probation. The plea deal also requires Dunkel to waive his right to appeal and includes possible restitution payments, should the recycling center claim them.

"You are going to have to stay out of trouble," Sypniewski said. "I understand you're looking forward to getting this behind you." 

Rotterdam police had received multiple reports from the recycling company about thefts, prompting a surveillance operation that resulted in the arrests. Police believe the pair were taking the cans and returning them elsewhere. 

Spencer pleaded guilty in the case earlier this month.

Dunkel is the son of convicted child killer Gloria Nelligan, according to previous news reports. Nelligan is serving 25 years to life in state prison for the 2013 murder of her 8-year-old grandson, Sha'hiim, at the Mynderse Street home. Sha'hiim was Dunkel's nephew. 

Dunkel took in Nelligan's three youngest children after the murder and his mother's arrest. Their status was unclear Monday.

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