Cobleskill PD hunts for armed robbers


By Jim Poole

Quiet Elm Street, Cobleskill, was shaken Sunday night when armed men entered a home and robbed residents.
Cobleskill Police are hunting for those three even after officers made another arrest in an unrelated gun incident Saturday night.
In Sunday’s robbery, three men, two of them armed with handguns, entered the Elm Street apartment house, displayed handguns and demanded property, Police Chief Rich Bialkowski said.
He did not specify what the property was.
One gun was believed to be a semi-automatic, and the other was described as a revolver, Chief Bialkowski said.
There were three people in the house, two women and one man, and the gunmen struck one of the women. They then took items and “were last known to be on foot,” Chief Bialkowski said.
“It’s possible one of the victims recognized one of the suspects, but they tried to disguise their identity by wearing masks,” he added.
Police used their dog, Wilson, in the search and were aided by State Police, Sheriff’s deputies and SUNY Cobleskill Police but were unsuccessful Sunday night.
College students lived at the Elm Street residence, “and that’s one of the leads we’re following,” Chief Bialkowski said.
Police described the suspects as three black men. Asked whether the incident was drug-related and whether the suspects were college students, Chief Bialkowski said both possibilities were leads police were following.
He added that the house was apparently picked out for robbery.
“We don’t feel this was a random act,” Chief Bialkowski said. “Based on the interviews we did late Sunday, we believe this residence was specifically targeted.”
The Cobleskill department is short manpower since Officer Harold Wilday retired several months ago. Therefore, Chief Bialkowski is appealing to the public for help.
“Our resources are stretched pretty thin, and we’re looking to the public to provide any information they can,” he said.
“Specifically, on this case, but anything else, too. Sometimes information about incident leads to another.”
Anyone with information should call Cobleskill Police at 518-234-2923.

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Less than 24 hours earlier, Cobleskill officers arrested a Summit man in another gun episode.
Chief Bialkowski said Thomas J. Nagel, 37, appeared at a home on Terra Heights and confronted several people.
An argument developed, and Mr. Nagel “displayed a loaded firearm in a threatening manner,” police said.
Officers saw Mr. Nagel’s vehicle as he was leaving the scene and stopped him.
Officers charged Mr. Nagel with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony; third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony; and criminal possession of a weapon, a class E felony.
Also, two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and two counts of second-degree menacing. Those four counts are class A misdemeanors. Mr. Nagel was also charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood-alcohol count higher than .08.
Mr. Nagel was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and remanded to the Schoharie County Jail on $5,000 cash bail, $10,000 bond.
He was to return to court Tuesday night.