Burglary suspects nabbed in attempted Dockside Jewelry heist

“Hello, this is your store. I am being robbed.”

That may have not been exactly what Robert Merkert heard when his phone rang at just after 2 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 8, but the security system that he had for his store, Dockside Jewelers, did call to notify both him and the Whitehall Police Department that it had been set off.

 

 

“My phone rang and I got the automated message that the alarm system had been set off,” said Merkert. “The calls went out to the police and me.”

Thanks to the system, Whitehall police were quickly on the scene at 126 Main St. and arrests were made in a matter of minutes.

“The security system that he had helped us out a lot,” said Whitehall Police Chief Matthew Dickinson. “The call came in about 2:11 or 2:12 a.m., and we had the vehicle stopped at 2:23 p.m.”

Police arrested Jason S. Belden, 27, of Whitehall and Henry Villalongo, 31, of Albany at the scene, and are currently investigating the involvement of a female suspect as well.

“She was apprehended at the time and she could also be facing charges,” said Dickinson. “It depends on the role that she played in these. She might have been riding by and picking them up or she could be very involved in the case.”

Dickinson also said the trio could be found to be “very involved” in a burglary case in Hudson Falls that happened earlier that evening.

“Overall, the investigation still continues,” said Dickinson on Monday, Jan. 11. “The case is still pending and I do not believe that we are going to end with just two people being arrested.”

Belden and Villalongo were arraigned in Whitehall Village Court and remanded to the Washington County Correctional Facility in Fort Edward. Both are facing charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and third-degree burglary.

As for Merkert, he met with police on Friday morning at his store, where he helped them with obtaining the video evidence from his security system.

“I got the video of them breaking into the store and we were able to ID the guys from that,” said Merkert, who said that alleged burglars left with several items, including watches, rings, pendants and, most notably, a display case of earrings.

“They ran down the road with that display case, but it was open and the earrings were falling off as they ran,” said Merkert. “They were leaving a bread trail behind them.”

Merkert said the pieces stolen ranged in the thousands of dollars, but that most everything was back in his possession by Friday afternoon.

 

Whitehall Police Patrolman Jason Vandenburgh responded to the original call, assisted by Dickinson, and Sgt. Richard LaChapelle. Whitehall police were assisted by New York State Police at the scene, along with Washington County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scott Stark and K9 Nass, and Investigator Tony Leclaire.

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Classifieds 12/17/14

Girls fall to Greenwich in opener

A stingy defense was too much for Granville to overcome in season opener Friday night. Granville was held to seven […]

Girls compete with Cougars

The Whitehall girls’ basketball team (0-3) is still seeking its first win of the season. However, the girls stuck with […]

Boys’ hoops handed first loss

After leaping out to a 2-0 start, the Whitehall boys’ basketball team was grounded at North Warren, 65-43. To say […]

What are you drinking?

Whitehall water

By Dan King If you live in the Village of Whitehall, your drinking water is perfectly healthy. That’s what the […]

Dared by friends, she write a novel

Author

By Derek Liebig It started with a dare. A few years ago, Granville resident Michele Sargent was having lunch with […]

Town to host hearing on fire protection

By Derek Liebig The town board will hold a public hearing later this month on proposed contracts for fire protection […]

School board discusses data, expenses

By Dan King The Whitehall Board of Education examined test data Monday and the analysis revealed the district still has […]

Village sewer fund gets $600,000 more

By Dan King The Village of Whitehall has received another $600,000 to work on sanitary and storm sewer separation in […]

All-star game for Milletts

Millett goes to Allstar game

By Dan King Whitehall-native Justin Millett, offensive lineman for the Glens Falls Green Jackets, represented his team at the Minor […]

Boys hoops fall in season opener

Greenwich’s ability to hit the outside shot sunk Granville in its season opener Friday night. The Witches hit 11 3-pointers […]

Commercial farming being redefined

The Town of Granville is in the process of updating its Right-to-Farm Law so that is differentiates between commercial and […]