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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 7, 2008

Are there more"
Kurtz collared for burglary

By Zach Simeone

VOORHEESVILLE—People in Salem Hills are counting their belongings as the list of robbery victims grows.

After being charged on Monday with his fourth burglary, 24-year-old William Kurtz of Salem Hills is now in the Albany Country jail, without bail.

Kurtz was arrested on Jan. 29 by the Albany Country Sheriff’s Department after it investigated a series of three robberies in the Salem Hills neighborhood. The fourth case was reported after Kurtz’s arrest.

The fourth victim was not even aware that she had been burglarized until she heard about the other burglaries on the news, so Salem Hills residents should check their homes for missing belongings, said Ronald Bates, Senior Inspector of the Criminal Investigations Unit in the Sheriff’s Department.

Since Kurtz committed the burglaries on foot, Bates added, he was only able to steal small things—things that victims may not have noticed were stolen. Police said that jewelry, iPods, and cash were taken.

Kurtz was initially charged with three counts of burglary in the second degree and one count of grand larceny in the fourth degree—all felonies—as well as two counts of petit larceny, and one count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree—all misdemeanors—according to the Sheriff’s Department.

"Initially we developed [Kurtz’s] name from a confidential source," Bates said.

"We tracked the stolen property to pawn shops in Albany."

Kurtz had provided photo ID upon selling the stolen property, so once victims of the first three reported robberies came and identified the items as their own, Kurtz’s connection to the case was obvious, said Bates.

"The next step is grand jury," Bates said.

Bates offered some tips for home safety and prevention against theft: "Have serial numbers for smaller bits of property that were stolen so we can ascertain exactly whether or not the items can be located, and take photographs of jewelry and things with sentimental value."

Bates added that residents should call 765-2351 if anything else is discovered missing.

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