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The Telegram
  • Police: Beef jerky bandit caught, has other similar cases

  • Seems like Ronald Smith Jr. of Herkimer might have a thing for beef jerky, according to local police.

    When Rome police said last week that they were looking to identify a man seen on video stealing beef jerky from a Fastrac Market, turns out Yorkville police had already caught him allegedly doing the same thing at a store on Oriskany Boulevard.

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  • Seems like Ronald Smith Jr. of Herkimer might have a thing for beef jerky, according to local police.
    When Rome police said last week that they were looking to identify a man seen on video stealing beef jerky from a Fastrac Market, turns out Yorkville police had already caught him allegedly doing the same thing at a store on Oriskany Boulevard.
    Smith, 49, was charged Monday by Rome police with petit larceny, a misdemeanor, one week after he allegedly took several boxes of beef jerky without paying from Fastrac on Erie Boulevard West on Dec. 27.
    At about the same time Rome police were searching for this unknown suspect, employees at the Express Mart on Oriskany Boulevard were reporting to Yorkville police that someone had stolen beef jerky from their store as well on Dec. 27, Yorkville police officer Patrick Collea said.
    Yorkville police told the store employees to report the man if he ever came back to the store, and Smith actually showed up later that date, Collea said.
    Smith was charged with petit larceny Dec. 28 and released on an appearance ticket.
    When Collea heard that Rome police were searching for a similar suspect several days later, Collea said he called Rome police and provided the man’s identity. Rome police had also learned the man’s name through anonymous e-mail tips.
    Turns out Smith previously had been charged with petit larceny in May last year for allegedly stealing about $200 in beef jerky from the same Yorkville Express Mart, Collea said.
    As Smith faces similar charges in Rome and Yorkville, Collea said he is planning to review store surveillance videos to determine whether Smith will face any additional charges for stealing more beef jerky on other occasions.
    Collea said he did not know why Smith might have been taking so much beef jerky.
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