CATSKILL — County officials recognized two residents Monday for their assistance in arresting the man convicted of robbing a bank in Windham in October.
First lieutenant of the Middleburgh Fire Department Kevin Dailey and Gilboa resident Nathan Holdridge were awarded at Monday’s Greene County Legislature meeting for their efforts to aid police in their search for Gary Pett, 42, of Ilion.
Pett robbed an NBT bank on Route 296 in Windham on Oct. 18. Pett led police on a multi-county chase for seven hours before his arrest. Ilion pleaded guilty to the felony charge of robbery Nov. 16.
County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione voiced his praise for the men’s actions.
“Every day that goes by [after a crime is committed], evidence can be lost, destroyed or altered,” Stanzione said. “Our chances improve when we work together and the community supports law enforcement.”
The case was handled by multiple agencies including New York State Police, Windham police, Little Falls police and police from Schoharie, Delaware and Herkimer counties, Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley said.
“The perpetrator was wearing gloves, goggles and a mask,” Stanzione said. “His identity was a mystery. Holdridge and Dailey did a tremendous service to the community, which resulted in a conviction. Now the perp will be spending many years in state prison.”
Pett was sentenced Jan. 8, 2019, and faces a minimum of 13 years in state prison, according to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office.
State police Capt. Brian Schortall recalled Dailey’s tip at Monday’s meeting.
“Kevin spotted the car after hearing about it on the fire wire,” Schortall said, adding Pett left the scene in a brown Chevrolet Impala with no plates.
Dailey saw the suspect at Red Apple Food and Grocery, 340 Main St., Middleburgh.
“He sent us photos of the car and person,” Schortall said.
The information helped police identify Pett and learned he had a record of previous robbery convictions in Herkimer and Albany counties, he said.
Greene County Undersheriff George Tortorelis recounted Holdridge’s story.
“Mr. Holdridge was tailgated by the suspect on Route 23 heading west from Windham into Ashland,” he said.
The two parted ways briefly and drove on parallel roads, which both end at county Route 10
“The suspect sped by Mr. Holdridge and he noticed there were no plates on the car,” Tortorelis said.
After arriving at work and hearing about the robbery, Holdridge relayed the information to the police, which gave them an idea about the direction Pett traveled, Tortorelis said.
Assemblyman Chris Tague also recognized the young men Monday.
Tague, a former volunteer firefighter with Middleburgh roots, commended Dailey for his service.
“The New York State Assembly thanks you,” Tague said. “We are proud to have you as members of our community.”