Whitehall has not been isolated from the recent wave of criminal activity throughout the region.
Within the last month, a trio of burglaries have taken place at three different businesses in the village, which Whitehall Police Chief Matthew Dickinson said are unrelated.
“They have been far apart from each other and they are not even related based on the evidence that we have drawn from each case,” said Dickinson.
The most recent happened last Thursday at Putorti’s Broadway Market, which is owned by village Mayor Francis “Fra” Putorti.
Dickinson said arrests will be made and the case should have been closed by Wednesday (Aug. 5) evening.
“We are dealing with juveniles here and we are in the process of making arrests in the Putorti’s case,” said Dickinson. “We will have further information later this week. We are not done with the investigation, but we plan to get the interviews done and have it completed by Wednesday evening.”
The other two incidents involved Big G’s Tavern and the Whitehall Marina, where money was stolen in each case.
“We are still working the investigations on both of those cases,” said Dickinson. “Again, there is nothing to point to the two being related.”
Dickinson did say there has been an increase of activity for the police department over the past few months that followed the regional trend.
“We’ve started to see the influx creep into Whitehall over the past several months,” said Dickinson. “It’s unfortunate, but people are taking advantage of others.”
Dickinson said the main advice he would offer residents would be to make sure their homes and businesses are secure.
“People have got to start locking their stuff,” said Dickinson. “If it is unlocked, that’s when people are going to try something when they are faced with desperate times and needs.”
Putorti said the back door to his store was unlocked by one of the burglars earlier in the day, which cleared the way for their return later to pilfer beer and cigarettes.
Dickinson said residents need to realize that times have changed, and there is a need to keep homes and businesses secure and locked.
“People need to be mindful of these things,” said Dickinson. “If you start a practice, it becomes a habit. If you lock up, then your property becomes that much more secure.”