NYSP arrest 2 after yearlong investigation into stolen construction equipment

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Police (NYSP) last Tuesday arrested Frank Markus, 56, of Delmar and Steven Lawless, 61, of Colonie following a yearlong investigation into the reported theft of an excavator and flatbed trailer from the Liberty Street parking lot in Albany.

New York State Police arrested Markus and Lawless for Grand Larceny 2nd degree (C felony), Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 2nd degree (C felony), and Conspiracy 4th degree (E felony).

In March of 2020, state police say they received a complaint from a business that was doing construction work in the area. Employees reportedly returned to work to find that the excavator and trailer had been stored there were gone. The excavator was said to be valued at more that $64,000.

Investigators reviewed surveillance video of the area and were able to identify a vehicle used in the theft. It was soon discovered that the vehicle was also wanted in connection with the theft of a Kubota tractor from the town of Brunswick in April of 2020, according to state police.

Through the use of social media, state police say they received tips about the owner of the vehicle after releasing a photo of the stolen tractor and suspect vehicle. Further investigation lead state police to the owner of the vehicle and eventually to Markus and Lawless who reportedly used it to transport the stolen tractor and the stolen excavator.

Both men were charged with the following on September 23, 2020 for the theft of the tractor:

  • Grand Larceny 3rd degree (D felony)
  • Criminal Mischief 4th degree (A misdemeanor) on September 23, 2020 for the theft of the tractor.

Last Monday, state police say they received an Order to Produce for Markus and he was taken from Saratoga County Correctional Facility where he was incarcerated on similar charges, to SP Saratoga for processing. He was arraigned virtually in Albany City Court and returned to Saratoga County Correctional Facility. Lawless, who was also incarcerated in Saratoga County Correctional Facility, was similarly processed, and arraigned on April 27, 2021.

Both men are due back in court at a later date.

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