At least ten vehicles have been stolen in the City of Oneonta since the beginning of the year.
Oneonta Police Chief Chris Witzenburg tells CNY News “This has been a significant, a notable increase from what we’ve seen compared to last year.”
The thefts are not limited to any one location or category of locations.
“They can be taken from anywhere,” Witzenburg went on to say. “We’ve had vehicles taken from convenience store parking lots, we’ve had them taken off the street, and from driveways.”
“As far as what’s driving vehicle thefts, most of these are crimes of opportunity. Most of these vehicles were left unlocked with keys in the vehicle. In some instances the vehicles were actually running.”
There have been no arrests in most of the cases. “In one case the vehicle was recovered but the owner did not want the suspect prosecuted,” Witzenburg said.
However, in the most serious case the suspect was alleged to have committed multiple felonies.
Anthony Masi was accused of stealing a vehicle from Spruce Street. There was a police pursuit that ended near Deposit, almost 50 miles away.
According to the New York State Police, the 29 year old Masi is accused of criminal possession of stolen property and first degree assault.
In the assault charge, Masi is alleged to have attacked a woman with a machete-type knife.
Earlier this year Masi was arrested on the assault charges and locked up in the Otsego County jail. Bail set at $50,000 cash or $500,000 bond.
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