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Local News

February 25, 2014

Troopers: Church robbed by parolee in devil mask

A twice-convicted burglar, released from state prison less than a year ago, is back in custody after he allegedly wore a devil mask while he and an accomplice looted a church in the Schoharie County community of Central Bridge, state troopers reported Monday.

Still on parole, Justin Pethick, 26, of Central Bridge and an 18-year-old identified as his cohort, Roger Graham, also of Central Bridge, are both facing felony burglary charges in connection with the Jan. 27 break-in at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Church St. in Central Bridge.

Troopers said the two jimmied locks on numerous doors and cabinets when searching for valuables to steal, and ended up causing some $18,000 in damages to church property.

Police charged the pair also stole two backpacks from members of Boy Scout Troop 46 from a church storage room. They were also accused of stealing about $40 from the church Family History Center.

Pethic is further charged with petit larceny for allegedly stealing cigarettes and tobacco products while employed at the Apple Food and Grocery store in Central Bridge.

Pethic was released from state prison last July after serving two years for a 2011 robbery conviction, state records show. He had also served an earlier prison sentence for a 2007 burglary conviction.Troopers said they were assisted in the investigation by the Schoharie County District Attorney’s Office and the state Department of Correctional Services and Community Supervision.

Pethic was arrested last Thursday, 16 days after Graham was charged. Both men are now being held at Albany County Jail for lack of bail, authorities said.

Troopers said they were assisted in the investigation by the Schoharie County District Attorney’s Office and the state Department of Correctional Services and Community Supervision.

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