Police charge three in stolen car case

SARANAC LAKE – Village police have arrested three local men who they say stole a car and drove it to the Albany area to visit a friend.

Timothy W. Besaw, 21, of Vermontville; Thomas M. Hough Jr., 19, of Bloomingdale; and a 17-year-old male from Saranac Lake, who might be eligible for youthful offender status, were each charged with fourth-degree grand larceny Monday, village police said in a news release. Besaw was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Police Chief Bruce Nason said the trio allegedly stole a 1997 Honda Accord that was parked in front of an apartment house on Franklin Avenue. It had been left “unsecured,” although Nason said he wasn’t sure if the keys were left in the car.

The chief said the car was reported stolen around 9 a.m. Sunday. Police subsequently canvassed the neighborhood looking for leads, he said.

“Patrolman (James) Joyce was knocking on quite a few doors asking anybody in the area if they saw or heard anything,” Nason said. “At some point somebody called the station and indicated that the car may be in the Albany area. We reached out to police in that area.”

Nason said village police also talked to a relative of one of the suspects who confirmed, after a lengthy interview, that the trio was in the Albany area visiting a friend. The family member then contacted their relative and told him they should turn themselves in because the police were looking for them, Nason said.

The three young men subsequently surrendered to police in the Guilderland area around 10 p.m. Sunday night. Nason said the trio told police where the car had been left, and the Albany Police Department recovered it. Saranac Lake police then traveled to Albany to pick the suspects up.

Besaw was arraigned and remanded to the Essex County Jail in Lewis in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. Hough was arraigned and released after another person posted $200 cash bail on his behalf.

The 17-year-old is facing additional charges stemming from the burglary of a village business that Nason declined to name. He and another suspect – 23-year-old Joshua Whitty of Saranac Lake – allegedly broke into and stole liquor from the business sometime during the night of March 17 or early in the morning on March 18.

“Apparently they wanted to continue their St. Patrick’s Day festivities,” Nason said. “That’s pretty much what one of them told us.”

Whitty was arraigned and remanded to the Franklin County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. The 17-year-old was arraigned and released after someone posted $500 cash bail on his behalf.

Nason thank the other law enforcement agencies, as well as the public, for their help with the car theft investigation.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.