On Tuesday in Cortland County Court, Chad Henry pleaded guilty to Burglary charges.
He was involved with at least two other people, in several burglaries, mostly in the Port Watson and Tompkins Street areas, according to police.
In one of the burglaries, an ATM from the A & W was taken and found in the Tioughnioga River.
Henry, who is 27, and Elijah Sharp, 49, were arrested through the work of an alert Cortland Police Officer, Trevor Wenz.
Wenz was on patrol last August checking businesses in the area where the burglaries had been reported.
He was across the street when he spotted two people inside the Kleen Korner. “I had a very good feeling that these were the burglars,” said Wenz. “It was a dangerous situation because it’s a high-level crime and obviously, these guys were pretty determined. We didn’t know if there were more people involved. I didn’t know if there was a car waiting for them. I didn’t know if they had weapons on them.”
It was getting close to 3 am and Wenz knew to not rush in. He notified his supervisor. “I think they finally saw me and they had exited and they were walking toward Fat Jacks Barbecue,” said Wenz. “They walked back out onto Tompkins (Street) like nothing had happened and we talked to them there.”
There was more police work to do. “It turns out they had ditched one of their large crowbars in the grassy area next to Time Warner Cable,” said Wenz. “We found their footprints through the dew in the grass and it led right to the crowbar, which was collected as evidence.”
At the time of the arrest, Lt. David Guerrera credited the work of Officer Wenz for ending the series of burglaries of businesses in Cortland last summer.
One of the men arrested, Chad Henry, faces 1-1/3 to 4 years in state prison for his burglary plea. Henry is to be sentenced by Cortland County Court Judge David Alexander on June 19.