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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, December 8, 2011
By Anne Hayden
GUILDERLAND A young man with a troubled past and a history of run-ins with the police department was arrested again last week.
Robert J. Fisher, 22, was arrested on Friday for burglarizing vehicles, garages, and houses in the Westmere area.
Fisher, whose last known address was at the 1700 Apartments on Western Avenue, is now homeless, according to Investigator Thomas Funk of the Guilderland Police.
Fisher’s family lost its home on Gun Club Road in Altamont in 2007, when his mother, Alice Fisher, a widow with six children, fell behind on bills and had her water turned off by the village.
In 1998, Robert Fisher Sr., Alice Fisher’s husband, had died in a tractor accident while working at Altamont Orchards. Mrs. Fisher kept up with the mortgage, water, and sewer payments until 2004, but, by 2007, owed the village of Altamont over $6,000.
After the Fishers lost their home, they resided in an apartment owned by Helderberg Safe Haven Inc., a not-for-profit organization. It was while living there that Robert Fisher was arrested the first time, for two instances of menacing behavior.
In 2007, Fisher was arrested by the Guilderland Police for fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal contempt, and second-degree harassment, all misdemeanors.
In 2009, while living in the 1700 Apartments, he was arrested for petit larceny and attempted petit larceny, after stealing $372 in cash from a man who had paid him for a sexual encounter. At that time, Fisher was sentenced to three years of probation.
Last Friday, Guilderland Police were able to trace stolen credit cards back to Fisher, and he admitted to at least two vehicle burglaries recently committed in Westmere, said Funk.
Fisher entered unlocked cars, garages, and residences, and stole items including cell phones, iPods, credit cards, gift cards, and money, police said.
A computer, which Fisher took from a residence, has been recovered and is being held as evidence, Funk said.
Fisher is not being linked to the rash of house burglaries in Guilderland, near the Fort Hunter area, according to Funk; The entry style is not the same, nor are the types of items taken.
Fisher appeared in front of Justice John Bailey and was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary. He is being held in Albany County’s jail, where he will remain until Dec. 15, when he will appear in Guilderland Town Court again. More charges are expected as the investigation continues.
Anyone with information on burglaries in the Westmere area should call the Guilderland Police Department at 356-1501.