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Former Auburn business owner pleads guilty to trespassing at Wegmans

Robert Otterstatter, a former Republican Auburn City Council candidate and owner of Octane Social House, has pleaded guilty to criminal trespass in Geddes Town Court.

The original charge stemmed from accusations that Otterstatter stole over $600 worth of groceries from the Fairmount Wegmans last summer by using self-checkout on three separate occasions to make products not ring up. He had already been banned from Wegmans stores for two years after being accused of shoplifting earlier in 2022 by security at the Auburn location.


Initially charged with three counts of burglary and petit larceny before the charges were reduced to misdemeanors, Otterstatter accepted a plea deal and admitted to criminal trespass. He was given a one-year conditional discharge, a fine of $205, and must provide a DNA sample, which will cost $50.

Octane Social House was closed after Otterstatter’s arrest, leaving Auburn with a $143,000 debt from a Community Development Block Grant loan made in January 2020. A portion of the debt was recovered through an auction of the coffee house’s contents.