COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local police department has its first example of what can go wrong with New York’s bail reform laws set to take effect at midnight.
Christopher Seamans, 41, of East Syracuse, was arrested and charged with robbing the Pioneer Savings Bank in Colonie. On Tuesday, he appeared before a judge in Albany County and was released on his own recognizance.
He faces one felony charge of Robbery.
Seamans has a record. He was previously convicted of robbery in 2005 and 2010. Under the former law, a repeat offender could have been held in jail until trial. Under the new law, he’s a free man.
In a press release, Colonie police said, “Happy New Year everyone! Especially happy for our most recent bank robber.”
Several other local law enforcement agencies don’t like the new law, either. It’s designated to level the playing field between suspects who can afford bail and those who can’t.
It’s estimated that thousands of inmates will be released from county jails starting on January 1.