TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN - Five people have been arrested, two of them juveniles, in connection with an early Monday gun store heist in the Town of Johnstown, Fulton County Sheriff's officials said.
A total of three of the six handguns have since been recovered, officials said.
The group is accused of breaking in during the early morning hours of Monday and making off with six handguns stored in a secure cabinet, officials said.
Deputies arrived at the business for a report of a possible burglary in progress. They arrived to find the business had been broken into and guns taken. The sheriff's release did not identify the business.
They then determined four people had been involved and they relayed that information to the Gloversville Police Department and surrounding agencies.
Based on information from the Gloversville Police, Gloversville detectives, along with state police and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives soon developed information on several suspects and began surveillance Tuesday on a possible location of the suspects in Gloversville.
Investigators then spotted an SUV with several individuals believed to be suspects inside. They tried to stop it, but the individuals fled on foot. Three were arrested quickly by members of the Gloversville Police Department.
Once in custody, investigators determined that one of the juveniles was in possession of one of the stolen handguns. Further investigation resulted in a total of five arrests and the recovery of three of the six handguns, officials said.
Those arrested and their charges:
- Latoddrarick Lute, 20, of Texas, charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, and held on a felony warrant from another state
- Malik Hyde, 20, of Gloversville, charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, issued an appearance ticket and released.
- Marcos Vazquez, 23, of Amsterdam, charged with criminal possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property, felonies, issued an appearance ticket and released.
- An unnamed 17-year-old from Johnstown, charged as an adolescent offender with third-degree burglary, six counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, felonies, and other charges. He was taken to Family Court Youth Part and released.
- An unnamed 14-year-old from Texas, charged as an adolescent offender with third-degree burglary and released to report to probation.
Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino cited recent reforms, including bail reform and raise-the-age (which impacted the 17-year-old's case) with leading to only one of the five being held. That one held was only due to an unrelated warrant, Giardino noted.
In the release, Giardino criticized the reforms.
"This case is a perfect example of misplaced reforms without input from Law Enforcement and District Attorneys," Giardino said in a statement included in the release," There are still three handguns out there that can be used against members of the police or community members at large. Two of the suspects live in other states and there is no incentive to stay in New York to answer their local charges."
Giardino also asked anyone with information on the case, including the location of the missing guns, to contact the Fulton County Sheriff's Office at 518-736-2100, ask for the investigative unit.