NEAL P. GOSWAMI
BENNINGTON -- Home surveillance footage of a burglar entering a local home has led to the arrest of four New York teens in an alleged burglary ring and helped solve 10 recent burglaries so far, police said.
Teenagers from New York
The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police announced the arrest Thursday of the four teenagers from New York. Police say that have committed at least 10 daytime, residential burglaries in Rensselaer County, N.Y.
According to police, the four males that have been arrested and held at the Rensselaer County Jail are:
* James M. Large, 18, of Valley Falls, N.Y.
* Christian A. Olsen, 17, of Johnsonville, N.Y.
* Ethan M. Dearstyne, 17, of Valley Falls, N.Y.
* John E. Toomajian, 18, of Brunswick, N.Y.
The New York State Police said in a release Thursday that all four were arrested Wednesday evening after "an extensive investigation" conducted jointly by the Sheriff's Office and state police in Brunswick. The Rensselaer County Drug task Force and the Bennington Police Department all participated.
All four suspects have been charged with second-degree burglary, a Class C felony in New York.
Police said the charges are related to a string of break-ins, most of which occurred in Pittstown. At least one occurred in Bennington, however. The four targeted high-end jewelry and gold, which they then sold at area pawn shops, according to police. The stolen jewelry is estimated to be worth more than $100,000. Some of the stolen jewelry was recovered as a result of the investigation.
Bennington Police Lt. Lloyd Dean said the investigation was given a boost this week when Large was caught by a surveillance camera entering a local home through a bedroom window. The footage was distributed to local media outlets and helped police track Large and the other three suspects, Dean said.
"The camera in the victim's bedroom here in Bennington has solved 10 burglaries, nine in New York and one in Vermont," he said.
It's unclear, however, whether the four suspects taken into custody are responsible for other burglaries that have occurred in recent months. "This case is still in its infancy," Dean said.
Large, and possibly others involved in the alleged burglary ring, will eventually face similar charges in Vermont, according to Dean.
"The details need to be worked out between the New York courts and the Vermont courts," he said.
New York authorities said most of the burglaries occurred in the last two months. Police are asking that anyone with information about the case call the state police in Brunswick at 518-279-4427 or the Sheriff's Office Tips Line at 518-270-5252.