Thursday January 3, 2013

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. -- Several Saratoga Springs burglaries are believed to be tied to a multi-year, interstate string of thefts involving an estimated $1 million in goods stolen from 100 homes.

Police on Wednesday showed off some of the loot -- jewelry, silver, coins -- that John W. Suddard II, 39, of Fort Edward allegedly took during a spree dating back to September 2007, shortly after completing a 10-year prison term for a prior burglary offense.

Suddard, who is in Albany County Jail without bail, was charged on Dec. 21 trying to pawn items in Albany that he allegedly stole one day earlier in Hudson Falls.

"He's looking at probably spending the rest of his life in prison," said Lt. John Durling, of the state police Special Investigations Unit in Latham.

Durling, Hudson Falls police and Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy displayed 31 duffel bags containing 30,000 items discovered in sheds at the Granville home of Suddard's brother-in-law, David Parson, who might be facing charges, too. These items alone are believed to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Items from one Hudson Falls home are valued at $140,000 alone, and there's no much telling how much Suddard sold.

Many burglaries occurred in Hudson Falls, South Glens Falls, Moreau, Fort Edward and Glens Falls.

Hudson Falls Detective Scott Gillis said there's a strong possibility that Suddard is responsible for unsolved burglaries in Saratoga Springs as well.

"Absolutely," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised. Some of these things might be from Northville and Ballston Lake. We're finding more and more."

On Friday, Nov. 16, more than $100,000 worth of goods were taken from three unoccupied homes on Westbury Drive, off Buff Road between Routes 9N and 29, in Saratoga Springs.

"They're certainly at the top of our list," Saratoga Springs Lt. John Catone said.

Stolen items included gold coins, gold bars, silver, jewelry and international currency including Swiss Francs, along with electronic items such as an iPhone, Mac Book, iPad and Nikon camera.

Forced entry was gained through side or rear doors. Police said that "99 percent" of Suddard's cases involved forced entry.

"We've already working with them (other police agencies) on this," Catone said. "We've compiled a list of things from some of our burglaries that are still open."

Catone said he's learned that Suddard might cooperate with officials in identifying other homes that he stole from. "He did so many, I don't know how he keeps track," Catone said.

Gillis said some burglaries might have been committed in Vermont, he said.

"He (Suddard) was moving between here and North Carolina and other states as well," Gillis said. "We have reached out to other states." Gillis said a break in the case came when South Glens Falls police Sgt. Todd Moulthrop spotted Suddard's vehicle off Martindale Avenue in Hudson Falls, shortly before Christmas. On Dec. 20, a nearby home on Spruce Street was broken into.

State police put Suddard under surveillance and he was charged the next day after trying to pawn items at Olde Saratoga Coin on Central Avenue in Colonie.

Hudson Falls Police Chief Randy Diamond said it's believed that Suddard would routinely drive through neighborhoods, waiting for someone to leave their house.

"The majority of people were elderly," he said.

Most of the burglaries took place in cold-weather months, beginning after Halloween, Diamond said. There were one or two cases in both Hudson Falls and Glens Falls when someone was home and spooked Suddard away.

It's not believed that he committed armed burglaries, although a handgun was found among one stash of items.

Suddard worked seasonally doing paint jobs in summer. It's unknown if he broke into any of the homes in which he worked.