Larceny on Bridge Street

Shoplifting from thrift store under investigation


Saratoga Police are investigating an attempted larceny or shoplifting that occurred Jan. 14 at Bridge Street Bargains downtown.

Saratoga Chief of Police Robert Bifano said store employees called authorities after a male customer attempted to flee the store with a bag of clothing that had not been paid for, as well as a donation jar. Most of the items were recovered after two bystanders followed the suspect, who dropped most of the items into a trash receptacle.

Carol Beach, manager of Bridge Street Bargains, said the incident occurred close to closing time Jan. 14. The suspect spent an unusually long time in the store shopping according to the clerk on duty at the time, Beach said. After gathering a bag full of items for purchase, the man asked the clerk about a pair of shoes in the back of the store. When the clerk went to the back of the store to find them, the man fled, she said.

The clerk then walked outside and walked East on Bridge Street, stopping to ask patrons at the Rustic Bar if they had seen the suspect.

Chris “Chilly” Rollison of Saratoga, said he saw the suspect run past the bar with items in his hands, then head south on River Street toward Shively Hardware. When the clerk entered the bar to ask if anyone had seen someone run past, Rollison said he had and then ran in the direction the suspect went.

Near Shively’s loading dock, Rollison says he noticed bills and change on the sidewalk. He then saw the possible subject running farther up the street. Another passerby asked what happened, and after Rollison told him, the passerby also set out in search of the subject.

Rollison began collecting the money off the street before another passerby told him where the suspect had dumped the collection jar and bag of clothing. Rollison and another patron from the Rustic Bar picked up the money and items and returned them to the store where they waited to be interviewed by the police.

Rollison said he did not recognize the individual, but that he was a white male, about 5’9” who was wearing black pants and a gray-colored sweater. Rollison said that at no time did he see the subject’s face.

Beach said she was not sure how much the store lost, saying that earlier in the week, she had emptied the donation jar of bills and deposited them in the bank. There may have been some cash in the jar patrons had put in since the deposit, but Beach was not sure what the amount was, or whether the suspect took any of it. The bag of items the man took was estimated to have a retail value of $15-20 she said, and most of those were recovered.

Bridge Street Bargains is a nonprofit which supports civic organizations in the town of Saratoga.

According to Bifano, the police have a suspect in the attempted larceny or shoplifting. Because the matter is under investigation, Bifano declined to identify the suspect but said Monday that officers were continuing to work the case.

The matter remains under investigation as of press time.


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