The recent Christmas Eve theft at the St. Francis Church in Narrowsburg was not the only burglary over the holidays. Now, the Fallsburg Police Department says there were two more thefts in Sullivan County. YNN's Eva McKend met with a Loch Sheldrake resident who came home Christmas evening to find his window open and his belongings gone.
SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- When Michael Bound returned to his Loch Sheldrake apartment community on Christmas night, he found the traces of an unwelcome visitor.
"I came home from my father’s on Christmas evening. When I walked in my house, the window was wide open, there were mud prints going up the stairs and I realized my TV, the kids' Playstation, everything was gone," Bound said.
An unnamed 16-year-old male has been charged with the burglary.
Bound is not the only victim of burglary so close to Christmas. Fallsburg Police charged Christopher Peachey, 25, with felony burglary in a nearby, but unrelated, incident in Hurleyville on Christmas Eve. Peachey is accused of stealing almost a thousand dollars worth of household items from a couple. He told police he gave away the stuff he stole as Christmas presents.
"It’s more shock than anything. You would not think that on the Christmas holiday that something like this would happen, but I don’t think it matters what day of the week it is, what month it is or what holiday it is, if somebody wants to take something they are going to take it," said Fallsburg Police Department Detective Brendan Pavese.
Police say the slew of recent burglaries are indicative of the larger economic challenges people face around the county.
"Just this past week, we’ve had five burglaries that I can recall that we are working on actively. It’s a tough time. It’s a tough area. People are burglarizing houses to get ahead, it seems," said Pavese.
With severe sentences that came down in Sullivan County last year for teen burglars Aniebal Santiago and Joseph Strong , 10 and eight year sentences respectively, local law enforcement officials say they are trying to send a message.
"I think that anybody that breaks into somebody’s home needs to be held accountable. If the proper sentence is brought down, maybe this will stop happening in our county," added Pavese.