On October 1 of this year, Colonie Police Officers responded to a jewelry store located at 1544 Central Avenue for a report of a white male stealing jewelry before fleeing the scene.

It was just before 5:30 p.m. on October 1, when officers were called to respond to Glennpeter Jewelry on Central Avenue. Allegedly a white male, hiding behind an orange mask, snatched a necklace and a bracelet worth $6,000-$7,500 before running from the scene.

Since that time investigators have been searching for a suspect and yesterday they connected a Schenectady man with the theft.

According to News 13, yesterday investigators arrested 32-year-old Michael Lamalfa of Schenectady and charged him with Grand Larceny after he was picked up by the Niskayuna Police on charges that were not related to this incident.

Since the theft last month, Glennpeter Jewelry has been trying to find a way to deter suspects from using a mask to conceal their identity and commit crimes. Usually, someone entering a jewelry store with a mask would be extremely suspicious, but because of COVID-19, wearing a mask is required.

Businesses, including Glennpeter Jewelry, are trying to come up with a way to resolve the mask issue. CCO, Tracy Lewis, is looking for a way to deter thieves. She said, “Should we put a buzzer in? Should we make them pull their mask down before coming into the store to get a shot of their face. Do we make them hand over a driver's license before we hand them a piece of jewelry?”

Mask wearing and theft during the pandemic is a problem that many businesses are trying to resolve. We don’t know how police officers connected Mr. Lamalfa with this crime, but thankfully the suspect in this incident did not get away with it.

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