By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
An Amsterdam man was arrested Tuesday linked to the burglary of a storage shed in the city of Amsterdam holding donations for domestic violence victims.
According to an Amsterdam Police Department news release, Carlos Figueroa, 18, of 3 Henrietta St., was charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor, and is being held for arraignment in Amsterdam City Court.
The storage shed that Figueroa is accused of burglarizing is also located at 3 Henrietta St.
Karen Gisondi-Clay, CEO of Stop the Violence, Inc., an Albany-based assistance program for domestic violence victims and their families, said the organization utilizes storage spaces across the region to store their donated items.
And most often it is an inconspicuous location, she added.
It had been two weeks since she had visited the storage shed in the city, but when she arrived on Tuesday she found the shed had been ransacked, she said.
"We went down there to just get the stuff out so that we can basically start our Christmas baskets and our Christmas things and what we're going to give to who and what, and we went to get in there yesterday and everything was gone," she said.
The doors of the garage had been ripped off, she added.
Toys, bedding, appliances, brand new sports memorabilia, dishes, video game systems, and furniture were just some of the items taken, she said.
"They even took a cast iron wood stove," Gisondi-Clay added. "Everything was brand new."
And what wasn't taken, she said, was defecated on, burned, or thrown out.
Gisondi-Clay said she estimated that the items taken were valued at around $50,000.
According to the police department's release, the shed was reportedly secure the last time it was checked in October.
Amsterdam Police Department Det. Lt. Kurt Conroy said that the burglary report had been made Wednesday and detectives and officers began knocking on doors and interviewing neighbors in that area for potential witnesses.
After speaking with Figueroa, police found that some of the items that were reported stolen were inside the apartment, Conroy said.
He said they developed Figueroa as a suspect from those interviews and brought him in for questioning.
The release detailed that during the interview with Figueroa, he made admissions to detectives as to how he came to be in possession of the property.
Several of the items, the release continued, have yet to be recovered, and the investigation is continuing.