Pair allegedly steal items from camps to give as presents

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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— Two Gloversville men stole beds, dressers and TVs from summer camps in the Caroga Lake area over the last month, hoping to use some of the items as Christmas presents, authorities said.

Robert Caputo, 24, of Third Avenue, and Justin Brockhum, 24, of Third Street, were charged Tuesday with multiple counts of second-degree burglary, a felony, said Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey.

Caputo and Brockhum were sent to the Fulton County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail. Lorey said they likely will face additional charges after a grand jury hears evidence of their alleged crime spree.

The men are alleged to have burglarized approximately 14 camps in the mostly rural area, stealing everything from jewelry to a queen-sized bed, the sheriff said. Authorities found the items, worth thousands of dollars, at their residences, he said.

“They were both cooperative. One led us around and showed us places where they broke into,” Lorey said. He said one of the suspects said he had a job but that it did not pay well enough and that he stole items as a way to give his family some nice presents for Christmas. “They were planning to make Christmas presents to his family,” he said.

Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Stemmler arrested Caputo and Brockhum around 3 a.m. Tuesday as they were tying a dresser to their car, Lorey said. He said the dresser had been stolen from a camp. “They had burglarized a place nearby and were trying to make a getaway,” he said.

Stemmler was responding to a 911 call made by an occupant of a camp on Kasson Drive. The occupant said he had just been awoken by two men who had broken into his house.

“The guy was asleep and discovered these two characters in his house. He chased them away and called 911,” Lorey said. “It is a lesson for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and let us know when they see some thing unusual. Generally, people do not move [their belongings] at 3 in the morning,” he said.

The sheriff said he was not sure what the two men planned to do with items they weren’t giving away as presents. “They had not had an opportunity to sell any of it,” he said.

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