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Crime

Verizon employee accused of stealing nude picture off customer's phone

COLONIE - A man brings in his phone to have it repaired only to find out an intimate picture on that phone has been stolen.

Dominic Pirozzi, 33, is the man accused of stealing it.

Police say Pirozzi worked at the Verizon store on Route 7 in Colonie. They say he was repairing the victim's phone, saw the topless picture and texted it to himself.

The victim, who is 19 years old, says he noticed the photo had been forwarded when he got home and checked his phone. The photo was of his girlfriend, who is also 19.

Police were alerted and contacted Pirozzi, who turned himself in.

Driver in Shen fatal crash hears charges

BALLSTON SPA – More than a month after the two-car crash that killed two Shenendehowa High School seniors and severely injured two other teens, the driver of the other car involved in the collision appeared in court Monday.

Charges of vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide and numerous other felonies have been filed.

Dennis Drue, a 22-year-old Siena College student, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday to a 59-count indictment.

Most charges are felonies.

Authorities say Drue had been stopped by police 22 times since 2007 and been involved in four car crashes.

District Attorney James Murphy and State Police Capt. Steven James have scheduled a news conference for after the proceeding.

Adult home worker charged with sexually abusing woman

LOUDONVILLE - Colonie police have charged an Albany man after they say he inappropriately touched a 91-year-old woman.

Police say it happened at the Loudonville Home for Adults.

Richard Ragone, 64, was a maintenance worker at the home.

Police say he went into the woman's room to change a light bulb and then put his hands down her shirt.

They say the incident took place on Nov. 30 when a witness observed Ragone placing his hands down the victim's shirt and rubbing her breasts without her consent.

Ragone is a Level 3 sex offender, having previously served prison time for rape. He was convicted in 1984 in the rape and sodomy of a 43-year-old woman.

He was released from prison in 2000 and started working for the assisted living home eight years later.

Washington County man accused in burglary spree

HUDSON FALLS - Police shared more details about a man accused of stealing 30,000 pieces of jewelry and other valuables from homes in three local counties.

Investigators have 31 duffel bags filled with stolen belongings.

Arrested in connection to these burglaries is 39-year-old John Suddard of Fort Edward. He’s accused of committing the crimes over a five-year period.

Investigators say Suddard would stake out a home, waiting for residents to leave and then force his way in to steal jewelry, coins, heirlooms – anything he could get his hands on. They say his victims were mostly seniors.

Police were led to Suddard through a confidential informant. They then watched him and made an arrest after they say he tried to sell some of the items at Olde Saratoga Coin in Colonie.

Police search for robbery suspects

COLONIE - Police in Colonie are still looking for two men who robbed a store at gunpoint late Monday night.

Police say the men walked into the Gulf Mega Mart at 1560 Central Avenue, shortly after 11 p.m. and demanded money. One of the men was armed with what appeared to be a shotgun.

Police say the men got away with less than $100. They were last seen heading south on Lincoln Avenue.

No one was hurt.

Schenectady man in custody after fatal hit and run

ALBANY - A Schenectady man is in police custody after he allegedly struck a bicyclist and led police on a pursuit that spanned five cities and two counties.

Pablo Cruz is facing charges for what police described as one of the most bizarre cases they've seen in a very long time.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said today, “We believe him to be highly intoxicated. He was recently paroled.”

Early Saturday morning, investigators say he decided to run from police on a routine DWI stop. It all started on Central Avenue in Colonie, where Albany County Sheriff Deputies were on the look out for drunken drivers.

Apple says of one deputy, “He noticed this headlight coming at him erratically.”

That was Cruz in a white pick up truck; clocked at around 90 miles per hour, according to Apple. Police went after him with their emergency lights on from Colonie, into the city of Albany.

Interstate jewel heist case arrest made in Colonie coin shop

COLONIE - Secondhand dealers are getting credit for delivering a firsthand blow to an alleged interstate jewelry theft operation. As of Thursday night, only one woman has been charged so far, but it's not known if anyone else is involved.

Soon after an Oct. 22 burglary in West Stockbridge, Mass., police in that community, suspecting that the stolen items might be taken across the state line into New York, notified the Albany County Dealers Association to be on the look out for some very unique and expensive jewelry.

Jason Pierce, president oft he ACDA, received some photographs of the stolen jewelry from police and distributed the pictures to about 100 of his members.

"Within 24 hours we received a phone call from Olde Saratoga Coin that identified a ring that appeared to be the ring that had been stolen and upon further examination, it most certainly was," Pierce stated.