SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Saratoga Springs Police Department made an arrest Tuesday afternoon in connection with the burglary spree that has recently plagued the Spa City. Four robberies had taken place in Saratoga Springs since 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 19.
Police said Justin P. Rock, 37, of Ballston Spa, was responsible for the robberies, and that he was arrested after trying to steal from yet another Capital Region business Tuesday. Around 4:41 p.m., the Ballston Spa Police Department responded to Midtown Wine and Spirits, located at 77 Milton Avenue in Ballston Spa for a burglary call similar to those that recently took place in Saratoga.
Law enforcement from the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, and the Saratoga Springs Police Department all quickly became involved because of the recent string of robberies. Police located Rock soon after the incident at a home on East High Street, where he was arrested.
In each of the Saratoga Springs robbery cases, Rock allegedly stole money while saying he had a gun. No gun was actually seen in any of those instances and no one was hurt, according to police. Rock has been arraigned on the Saratoga Springs robbery charges.
He pleaded not guilty to all four felony counts Monday morning. Rock, who has four prior felony convictions, was taken to Saratoga County Jail without bail. Charges from the Ballston Spa incident are still pending. A preliminary hearing in this case is set for Monday.
One of the robbery locations police connected to Rock was I Love NY Pizza on South Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Manager Eric Hodgson was alone in the shop late Monday afternoon when he says a man with a bandana and hat covering much of his face walked in.
“He came and asked for a menu, left, came back, and then he put a bag and a note on the counter,” Hodgson told NEWS10, “and I didn’t know what was happening.”
It became clear when, according to Hodgson, the man told him he was robbing him. At first, he didn’t give in. “He kept pushing, and it looked like he had a gun in his sweatshirt,” Hodgson explained, “so, I just gave him the money and he left, and I went outside and called the police.”
“I’m super excited that [the police] got him,” Hodgson said. “It’s sad that something like this happened around here. You don’t expect something like this to happen right in downtown Saratoga.”