For five years, someone prowled rural counties in upstate New York, pilfering pearl necklaces, gold chains, bracelets, coins, silverware and other valuables from an untold number of homes.
Now authorities face the daunting task of finding owners of the roughly 30,000 items discovered in 31 duffel bags after John Suddard’s recent arrest. So police in the village of Hudson Falls, near the Vermont border, are taking the novel step of displaying the items at the local high school on Wednesday night.
Burglary victims will be invited in, and an officer will escort them around tables set up in the cafeteria to see if any of the items are theirs.
“I’m hoping,” said Francesco Venturiello, whose Schenectady home was burglarized in May. He lost cash and roughly $75,000 worth his wife’s jewelry, including irreplaceable pieces bought in Italy. “I swear to God, if we find anything in there, I’m going to have to call an ambulance. My wife will faint.”