COLONIE — Two men from the Bronx were caught in the act while allegedly burglarizing the Smokers Choice store on Sand Creek Road.
According to Lt. Robert Winn, officers responded to the activation of a burglar alarm at the store on Tuesday, April 7 at around 12:03 a.m. Upon arrival, they found the door had been forced open and heard someone running through the woods behind the building.
Two people were spotted running on foot through the Colonie center parking lot, and with the assistance of K9s from Colonie PD and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department they were located and arrested.
Liridon Gashi, 35, and Granit Tahiri, 34, had allegedly broken out exterior lights and tried to disable the alarm before breaking into the rear door. The burglars attempted to steal cash from the ATM machine and left behind a sledge hammer, a splitting wedge and a hatchet.
The two are believed to involved in another burglary, Winn said, at the Men’s Inc. Barber Shop on Central Avenue. Winn said that incident was reported later on April 7, and involved someone breaking in and trying to steal money from the ATM machine. That case is still being investigated and more charges could be filed against Gashi and Tahiri at a later date, Winn said.
The two were arraigned in Colonie Justice Court on the felonies of burglary, attempted grand larceny and criminal mischief as well as the misdemeanor of possession of burglary tools.
Gashi, who is on federal probation for a similar crime in Rhode Island in 2017, was remanded to the Albany County jail. Tahiri was released on an appearance ticket.