Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Utica Police concerned over robberies

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Utica Police concerned over robberies
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There were three violent robberies in Utica last week. One was at gunpoint and another ended in murder. Although police say it's too soon to tell if it's the start of a trend, YNN's Andrew Sorensen tells us why the robberies have Utica Police worried.

UTICA, N.Y.-- Utica had three violent robberies in a week. Two during the weekend involved several people ganging up on one target.

"One occurred at Albany and Rutger and the other one occurred at Catherine and Pellittieri," UPD Sergeant Steve Hauck explained.

"One was a strong arm robbery in which a person was knocked down off their bicycle and robbed of their belongings," he said.

Hauck said the robberies may be by different groups, but they're all scary.

"They threatened use of a hand gun and again, robbed of their belongings," he said of the second robbery over the weekend.

And last Monday, a robbery ended with the death of Allen Minor, 47.

Officer John Abel already plans to meet with people in East Utica, where two of the robberies were.

"And we'll sit down and we'll look and see what resources need to be allocated where, as far as the prevention. And the investigative portion, you know, they'll keep working away on it,” he said.

Police say robbery statistics aren't up this year from any other year, but these incidents do bring up some concerns that are worth looking at.

"I'm not an alarmist, I don't like to say one thing is causing the other," Hauck said.

But he also said other cities dealing with large police cuts have sometimes seen crimes like these snowball.

"Maybe you can't solve the crimes because you don't have the people in place to solve them or adequately investigate them, then they continue to happen," said Hauck.

And they're hoping this isn't the beginning of a similar trend.

"If we're this busy in the supposed quiet months, what's going to come when it's busy?" Hauck asked. "So I think that's where the concern comes."

Police say they're still investigating the two East Utica robberies.

The suspects from the murder are awaiting a grand jury.

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