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Police say burglary spree ends with arrest


GHENT—State Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office joined forces to arrest a Chatham man, who they say committed 17 residential burglaries over the past two weeks in Ghent, Chatham, Canaan and Valatie.

The arrest came after Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at a Ghent residence, where a 15-year-old girl was home alone, January 26.


The girl saw an unfamiliar pickup truck pull into her driveway. She then called her mother and hid under her bed, according to a press release from State Police.

While under the bed, the girl, who was undetected, watched as an intruder entered and walked around the residence.

A short time later, troopers responded to another Ghent residence, where a homeowner confronted an intruder who was going through the kitchen cabinets. The homeowner recognized the intruder, who also arrived in a pickup truck.

State Police located the suspect in Chatham and took him to the Livingston barracks, where he was interviewed by State Police and Sheriff’s Office investigators.

Police say, the suspect, Bryan D. Geel, 26, of Route 203, cooperated during questioning and admitted to the break-ins, some of which were reported by residents just coming home from work, to find their residences had been forcibly entered.

Mr. Geel was charged by State Police with nine counts of second degree burglary and by the Sheriff’s Office with seven counts of second degree burglary and one count of second degree attempted burglary.

Arraigned before Justice Mark Portin in Ghent Court, Mr. Geel was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail. He is scheduled to reappear in Ghent Court at a later date.

Copake Lake

A 16-year-old Craryville boy, not identified by the Sheriff’s Office, was charged with second degree burglary, a class C felony and petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, January 16 at 6:43 p.m.

Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr. reports that a man who lives on Robin Road arrived home to find it had been burglarized.

When he checked his residence further, he discovered the 16-year-old boy inside. He called 911. Resident Deputy David Proper and Investigator Patrick Logue arrived on the scene.

Arraigned in Copake Court before Justice John Spencer, the teenager was sent to the county jail in lieu of $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bail bond.  He will return to town court at a later date.


Noreen Finch, 56, of Clermont was charged with three counts each of third degree grand larceny and second degree forgery, both class D felonies, by Deputy Eli Fieser, December 11 at 3:59 p.m.

Ms. Finch, who was employed at a business in Livingston, allegedly forged signatures on checks issued for cash and one to her insurance company. The amount of money she allegedly stole exceeded $5,000. Livingston Justice Robert Q. Moore signed an arrest warrant for Ms. Finch, who was taken into custody, arraigned and sent to the county jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bail bond. She was to return to Livingston Court at a later date.

West Lebanon

Three people were charged after Trooper Nicholas Lombardi stopped a car for speeding on Route 20 in West Lebanon, the night of January 29.

The driver, Matthew Evans, 18, of East Nassau allegedly possessed a bottle of rum and six multi-projectile fireworks launchers.  Further investigation revealed that the alcohol was purchased for the youth by his sister, Krystal Evans, 21, also of East Nassau.

Troopers found Ms. Evans at the West Lebanon residence of Daniel Besemer. While taking her into custody, the troopers found the Mr. Besemer, 22, had a bag of marijuana and several marijuana pipes.

Mr. Evans was charged with possession of alcohol by a minor and unlawfully dealing with fireworks.

Ms. Evans was charged with first degree unlawfully dealing with a child.

Mr. Besemer was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. All three subjects will answer their charges in New Lebanon Court February 3.

Troopers John La Plante and Matthew Konkle assisted with the



Amanda Squires, 20, of Schenectady was charged with second degree aggravated unlicensed operation and unlawfully dealing with fireworks by Kinderhook State Police, January 27.

Troopers pulled Ms. Squires over for speeding on State 9 in the village. They found she was operating her vehicle with no license, and had additionally been suspended four times. They also found numerous fireworks in her possession. She was released with tickets returnable to in Kinderhook Village Court.


Ashley N. Winters, 23, of Chatham was charged with two counts of second degree aggravated harassment, class A misdemeanors, by Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mark Dunspaugh, January 25 at 2:05 p.m. at her residence.

According to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr., on January 19, Ms. Winters made two telephone calls to Sheriff’s Office Investigator Patrick Logue, during which she allegedly made verbal threats and other inappropriate statements.

Additional charges are pending against Ms. Winters because she allegedly resisted arrest when Investigator Dunspaugh took her into custody.

Arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Robert Brenzel, Ms. Winters was sent to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond. She is to return to court at a later date.

Assisting with the investigation were members of the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Branch, Drug Education and Enforcement Unit and the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force in Albany.

To contact Diane Valden email


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