One man Capital District crime spree
COLONIE — A Schenectady man arrested for stealing a vehicle, then crashing it into a Colonie police patrol car on December 19, is the suspect in a weeks-long crime spree in the Capital District.
Sylvester Flora, 26, of Schenectady, allegedly smashed windows on vehicles to access credit cards and cash, then quickly purchased gift cards and merchandise with the cards at local businesses.
“In at least one instance, he stole the actual vehicle because the keys were left inside,” Colonie police Lt Dan Belles said. “When we located that stolen vehicle in Niskayuna, Mr. Flora purposely struck one of our police vehicles attempting to flee the scene.”
Flora was apprehended after a brief foot chase in that incident.
Colonie police arrested and charged him with criminal possession of stolen property over $3,000, grand larceny, identity theft, burglary, conspiracy – credit card, grand larceny 4 and Identity theft, all felonies.
He was arraigned and sent to the Albany County Jail, where the State Police found him.
Credit card thefts in Rensselaer and Albany counties
On December 28, State Police investigators charged him with two additional counts of identity theft in the second degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, identity theft in the third degree and petit larceny.
These charges stemmed from an investigation that started on December 13, at about 7:04 a.m. when troopers received the report that a purse had been stolen the previous evening in Rensselaer. The investigation determined Flora used a bank card that was in the purse when it was stolen at multiple locations in the Albany area, incurring approximately $2,000 worth of unauthorized charges.He was processed on those charges at the Albany County Jail where he remained until Saratoga County found him.
More charges out of Saratoga County
On January 5, State Police of Clifton Park charged Flora with additional charges after they investigated another series of thefts.
He was charged with identity theft in the first degree, identity theft in the second degree, grand larceny and four counts of criminal possession of stolen property, all felonies, and scheme to defraud, a misdemeanor.
Multiple ongoing investigations determined Flora stole other credit and bank cards from October 2022 through December 2022. He used those stolen cards to make unauthorized purchases in the Clifton Park and Halfmoon area.
Flora was produced by the Albany County Correctional Facility and processed at State Police Clifton Park. He was arraigned at the Clifton Park Town Court and the Halfmoon Town Court and returned to the Albany County Jail.
In addition, according to Colonie police, there are more charges pending from the December 19 incident.
Other local police agencies are expected to file charges as well.
Fake plates, suspended license
DELMAR — Bethlehem police observed a silver Toyota Rav 4 traveling eastbound on Delaware Avenue with a potentially fraudulent temporary Texas registration on Friday, Jan. 6 at approximately 6:59 p.m.
The officer performed a traffic stop and found that the driver, a 30-year-old Corona man, had a suspended license with 5 suspensions.
An investigation determined the plate was real, the car was not registered, insured or inspected.
The man said he bought the car in Florida and the plate was attached then, but he was from New York City and drove the car to Bethlehem.
He was taken into custody and charged with possession of a forged instrument and aggravated unlicensed operation, both misdemeanors, and operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operation by an unlicensed driver, operating an uninsured vehicle and operating an uninspected vehicle, all violations.
The man was given an appearance ticket and released. He is scheduled back in Bethlehem Town Court on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Two warrants and fake plates on Route 85
SLINGERLANDS — A Saratoga Springs woman was driving a blue Hyundai Elantra on Route 85 towards Albany with a dark-tinted license plate cover over a temporary Vermont plate on Thursday, Jan. 5.
Bethlehem police stopped the car and found, after a DMV check, that the plate was not valid and the driver, Stephine Schleimer, 33, had a suspended license with 11 suspensions. She also had two outstanding warrants from Saratoga Springs police and Columbia County Sheriff’s office.
When contacted, Saratoga Springs police had the officer advise Schleimer to turn herself in and Columbia County agreed to take her.
She was charged with Aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor, and a registration plate display violation by Bethlehem. Schleimer was issued appearance tickets for Bethlehem Town Court for Tuesday, Jan. 24 and transported to Schodack where she was picked up by Columbia County Sheriff’s office.