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Police investigate parking lot larcenies in Greenport

Amanda Purcell/Columbia-Greene Media Planet Fitness in Greenport was the site of a rash of larcenies in which alleged theives smashed windows and took credit cards and IDs from purses earlier this week. Police are investigating the incidents.
September 17, 2019 05:37 pm Updated: September 18, 2019 11:40 am

GREENPORT — The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police are investigating a rash of larcenies in which credit cards and IDs were allegedly taken from vehicles.

Members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office were called to the parking lot at Planet Fitness, 160 Fairview Ave., at about 5 p.m. Monday after seven vehicles were reported to have been broken into, Lt. Wayne Lopez said.

The suspects smashed vehicle windows and primarily grabbed purses and handbags while women used the gym, Lopez said. Many of the purses and handbags were kept in view of the suspects, and the suspects would take credit cards and IDs and discard the purses and bags on the ground.

The sheriff’s office was working on several leads as of Tuesday evening, Lopez said.

It is believed that the person or persons involved have left the area, Lopez said. It is unclear if more than one person committed the burglaries.

Senior Investigator Eric Barnes confirmed the state police are investigating incidents following the alleged larcenies, but declined to comment further.

Lopez said he could not comment on whether the Greenport burglaries are connected to a nationwide white-collar identity theft ring known as the Felony Lane Gang, which is believed to have a connection to several similar burglaries in Catskill in late August, Police Chief David Darling said at the time.

The group is known for smashing the windows of parked cars, stealing purses and using the victims’ personal identification and banking information to access their accounts, according to the Saugerties Police Department, which also investigated similar incidents.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.