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Rochester man admits guilt in dog theft

— A Rochester man admitted on Tuesday, Feb. 7 to stealing a dog from a Guilderland home last October, according to the Albany County District Attorney's Office.

Randy Whitten, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree burglary, a felony, before Albany County Court Judge Thomas A. Breslin. He faces 12 years in state prison and five years post-release supervision at his March sentencing, according to District Attorney P. David Soares.

After Whitten and a co-conspirator, Robert Genovese, broke into the home on Johnstown Road on Oct. 24, a neighbor told police she witnessed a male exit the house with her neighbor’s dog in his arm. When she called police, the men drove away in a white van.

State Police caught up with the van and followed it to Voorheesville. Despite police lights being activated, the van did not pull over right away. The van eventually pulled over and the suspects fled on foot, escaping the Trooper, according to Soares.

The dog came out of the van and was later returned to the owner in Guilderland, said Soares.

Shortly after the suspects fled, a report went out for a Chevrolet Silverado that had been stolen out of a driveway in Voorheesville. A State Trooper then spotted the truck on Western Avenue near Crossgates Mall and pulled it over, according to Soares. The suspects were then arrested. A search warrant was executed on the white van and inside police found a Kawasaki dirt bike that had been stolen earlier in the day in White Plains.

"These defendants would not have been captured but for neighbors looking out for neighbors and excellent police work," said Soares. "These two defendants went on a crime-spree which included the awful act of stealing a beloved pet named Molly, who was thankfully safely returned home. Unfortunately they chose to conduct this behavior in Albany County where we have a coordinated law enforcement response and now and will be spending many years behind bars.”

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