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Alleged burglar arrested, charged

ST. JOHNSVILLE — As a result of the investigation into three separate, but similar burglary complaints in which members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, state police Troop G and state police Troop D Bureau of Criminal Investigation followed several leads that led to the arrest of a 23-year-old male.

John J. Lemche III, of Little Falls, was charged on Thursday by Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies with two counts of third-degree burglary, third-degree attempted burglary, two counts of petit larceny and two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief.

The sheriff’s office began the investigation into larcenies that took place at the Parkside Drive-in restaurant, Lombardo’s Pizzeria and Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter on July 5. The larcenies, although separate, were believed to be related. During the course of the investigation, it was learned that there were burglaries similar in nature that occurred in Herkimer County.

The sheriff’s office, along with state police Troop G and state police Troop D Bureau of Criminal Investigations Unit followed several leads, along with assistance from the public that led them to Lemche as the alleged suspect.

Lemche was located and arrested for allegedly committing the burglaries at Parkside Drive-in, Lombardo’s Pizzeria and the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter.

There was video footage shared on the Montgomery County Facebook page that shows the suspect wearing a mask and taking what appeared to be cash drawers.

Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith said Lemche allegedly took mostly cash drawers, and possibly a couple liquor bottles from one of the locations. Smith said he took “very minimal” amounts of money, meaning only a few cents or few dollars was taken from each location.

He was processed and arraigned. Following the arraignment, he was then turned over to Herkimer County Correctional Facility where he is being held on a state parole violation.

Lemche was convicted in Montgomery Count of fourth-degree grand larceny and sentenced to one to three years. He was released in January on parole after serving six months.

Lemche is scheduled to re-appear in St. Johnsville Town Court and Root Town Court at a later date.

“The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the New York State Police Troop G for their assistance during the initial investigation, the New York State Police Troop D Bureau of Criminal Investigations Unit in their assistance with the investigation as it progressed into locating Lemche, the St. Johnsville Police, the Fort Plain Police, the Canajoharie Police and Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli McCoski for her guidance throughout this investigation,” the press release states. “We would also like to thank the public for their assistance and providing tips almost immediately after the incident was reported and throughout. This type of community partnership and diligent work is what builds safer and stronger communities and is immeasurable.”

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