Skip to content
Home » Tompkins County » Business owners say NY’s bail reform laws are to blame for repeat burglaries

Business owners say NY’s bail reform laws are to blame for repeat burglaries

  • / Updated:
  • Hayley Jones 

Editor’s Note: The suspect in a series of commercial burglaries in Ithaca is currently in custody, according to public information.

The slew of commercial burglaries over the past few weeks in Ithaca has frustrated local business owners.

Two business owners say the same suspect robbed both their stores, yet the individual continues to be set free due to New York’s bail reform laws.

Suspect caught on security footage at Ithaca restaurant (video)

Related: NYS Budget: What to know about changes to state bail reform law

Ithaca Police say 11 commercial burglaries took place between Saturday, July 9 and Monday, July 11.

Scott Schmutzler is the President of Antlers Restaurant. He says the suspect caught on security footage at Antlers is on police’s radar in connection with other robberies.

“He was picked up on July 7th for five burglaries and released due to New York State bail reform law burglary three, you know they can’t hold him on a burglary three so he was released and picked up again on the 11th,” Schmutzler told WENY.

Schmutzler reports having met with the District Attorney concerning the incident.

Related: Arrest made after multiple commercial burglaries in Ithaca

Brian Wallenbeck, owner of Ithaca Wholesale Furniture, said that on July 9, an individual broke into his store and stole the safe. Wallenbeck caught the suspect on video.

Like Schmutzler, Wallenbeck believes repeat offenders should face harsher penalties, otherwise, they’re likely to offend again.

Schmutzler says he reached out to other local businesses- including Wholesale Furniture- affected by the recent burglaries.

Related: Ithaca man faces numerous charges after string of commercial burglaries