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City police investigate string of April burglaries

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City Police are investigating about a dozen burglaries occurring over the past month alone, which Lt. Michael Strangeway partially blames on a unique set of circumstances the area now finds itself in.

Many of the break-ins were in broad daylight at partially vacant student housing or businesses that were forced to close – all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lt. Strangeway also said the state’s new bail reforms prevent police from being able to hold 2nd or 3rd degree burglary suspects, instead requiring them to be released each time they’re caught.

The combination of COVID-19 and bail reform, Strangeway argued, is the primary driver of the break-in reports that have amo

At this time, the public is urged to be vigilant about keeping their doors and windows locked.

“If you own rental housing or a business that is currently closed, please check on your properties regularly,” Lt. Strangeway said. “If you hear or see anything suspicious, call the police.”

Five male suspects have been arrested so far regarding the burglaries.

City police offered the following details on those arrests:

April 19

City police were called to 51 Groton Avenue around 10 am for a reported burglary of student housing.

A plain clothes officer was in the area at the time and he observed 2 subjects, loaded down with several backpacks, hurrying into a nearby apartment.

Officers converged on the area and were given permission to access to the apartment by the tenant, who wasn’t home at the time.

Inside, officers found 2 men hiding in the attic, Todd M. Brady (30) of 49 Clinton Avenue Apartment 1 Cortland and Nicholas J. Baldassarre (28) of 6 Elm Street Cortland.

Officers also recovered the backpacks and found that they contained the items that had been stolen from 51 Groton Avenue.

The officers’ investigation led to the identification and arrest of a third suspect in that burglary, Andrew J. Fiorentini (37) of 18 Sands Street Cortland.

All 3 men have lengthy criminal histories that include numerous arrests and/ or convictions for Burglary.

Baldassarre, Brady and Fiorentini were all charged with Burglary 2nd (F), Petit Larceny (M), Grand Larceny (F), and Conspiracy 4th (F).

Neither Burglary 2nd nor Burglary 3rd is currently a bail eligible offense.

As a result, Brady and Baldassarre were released to appear in City Court on June 19, 2020 at 9 AM.

Fiorentini was remanded to CCJ based on a separate Superior Court Warrant for his arrest from an unrelated incident.

April 25

Police responded to 28 Owego Street just before 11 am, after tenants discovered that someone was in their apartment.

A cellular telephone belonging to the same Todd M. Brady (30) of 49 Clinton Avenue Cortland was found in their residence at that time.

The tenants are not familiar with Brady.

April 28

The same residence was then broken into just days later.

City police responded to a report of a Burglary at 28 Owego Street just before 11 am, where student tenants returned home and found a man inside who didn’t belong there.

Officers responded and found Kyle J. Cobb (34) listed as homeless hiding on the enclosed back porch of the residence with stolen property in his possession.

Cobb was charged with Burglary 2nd (F), Possession of burglar’s tools (M), and Petit Larceny (M).

He was then released to appear June 19, 2020 at 9 AM.

April 29

Shortly after 6 AM, police were called to the scene of a burglary at 11 Salisbury Street (Wilbert Funeral Services).

Several power tools were stolen from the business. In addition, the suspect(s) had stolen a vehicle from inside the business and then abandoned it nearby.

The crime was captured by nearby surveillance cameras and investigation led police to 21 Cleveland Street, where they found the majority of the tools that had been stolen as well as tools and items from a yet unreported burglary.

Police arrested the resident at 21 Cleveland Street, Skylar Kenyon (25), who was charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5th (M).

Kenyon was released to appear on June 19, 2020 at 9 AM.

Investigation continued and officers were able to track down where the remaining stolen goods had come from.

It was discovered that the building at 138 Elm Street had also been broken into and thousands of dollars’ worth of tools and merchandise had been stolen.

The suspect(s) had taken the surveillance cameras and system associated with the cameras in an effort to hide their identity, but Nicholas J. Baldassarre (28) of 6 Elm Street Cortland is also a person of interest in that crime.

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