Residents worried about Mechanicville robberies


MECHANICVILLE, NY — A number of robberies in Mechanicville has police looking for answers.

The latest happened on Wednesday night, when the owner of the Getty gas station on North Main Street was beaten.  It was the third of three robberies to happen within roughly a mile of each other since February, and police said at least two of the crimes were violent.

“It's just scary,” said one woman who works at one of the stores that have been robbed.

Police said in the Getty robbery, two men entered the store around closing time.  One of them stole roughly $300, while the other used a baseball bat to repeatedly hit the head, shoulder and back of the 61-year-old owner, named Gandhi.

“Gandhi's really nice, and nobody had any right to do that,” said Josie Serrano, who lives nearby.

She happened to see two men running from something Wednesday night—one of them with a bat—but she did not realize what happened until the next day.

“I've seen his face before,” Serrano said.  “He looks familiar.  One of the guys lives around here.”

The problem is that police do not have much of a suspect description either.  The store's security camera, which had a bird's eye view of the store, was not working at the time.

“It'd be a tremendous asset, seeing as how the subject was not disguised,” said Lt. William Rabbitt of the Mechanicville Police Department.  “So, possibly we'd have been able to get a look at this guy (if the camera had been working).

Police said a similar situation happened at the B and M Wine and Liquor store back in February.  A worker was shoved through a plate glass window during a robbery, but the security camera also was not working there.

The incidents are enough for some in this small community to change the way they go about keeping themselves and others safe.

“Especially when she's working now, I go there every night right before she gets out,” said R. J. Rivers of his girlfriend.  “I'm just going to keep an eye out because I don't want anything to happen to her.”

Another robbery happened on Sunday at the Dollar General, but police that incident was not violent like the other two.  Police say there is no evidence so far to indicate that there is any evidence linking the robberies.  People with any information are asked to call Mechanicville police.

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