SCHENECTADY — Some criminals just have the worst timing.
In June, a Craigslist scammer plucked $250 from the hands of an unsuspecting buyer, who quickly realized that the “new” iPhone she just bought was an old phone inside a new box.
The scammer took off running through downtown Schenectady with the victim chasing her yelling, “Help me! She just stole my money!”
Unfortunately for the scammer, this transaction happened near the Schenectady County Family Court.
At the same time, CSEA Region IV Judiciary Local President Scott Gartland and local 1st Vice President Thomas McKenna, who were on an excused organization leave for union business, were walking over to Schenectady County Family Court to meet with a member.
They heard the screams and saw two women running toward them. Gartland and McKenna are New York State court officers with unrestricted Peace Officer status.
“I ran on over, identified myself and stopped the alleged perpetrator while she was crossing the street,” Gartland said.
“Tom went to the victim and brought her over to where I had detained the fleeing suspect.”
McKenna called the Schenectady Police Department for assistance.
“When the police arrived, we handed the suspect over to them and they took a statement from the victim,” Gartland said. McKenna and Gartland continued onto the courthouse to meet with the member.
For their service, McKenna and Gartland were presented with a commendation at a ceremony in late June.
“As public servants, we are never off duty,” Gartland said.
— Therese Assalian