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Upstate crime: a case study in banality

Jan 10, 2011 5:58 am
The Daily Mail has a story this morning about a local crime yesterday where a 27-year-old Columbia County man was arrested after attempting to rob a convenience store on Route 9W in the Greene County town of Athens around noon yesterday, January 9. According to a press release issued by state police, Scott M. Schrader allegedly demanded money from a clerk at the Athens XtraMart on Route 9W and Schoharie Turnpike. After the clerk refused to turn over any money, state police said that Schrader pushed over a food rack and fled the store in a 2008 Hyundai.

The report by Colin DeVries is dry and as good a description of the banal blow-by-blows of local crime as we've seen anywhere.

An XtraMart clerk interviewed Sunday evening by The Daily Mail described how the incident transpired. The clerk interviewed, Gavin Taranto, was not working when the crime occurred but heard from co-workers — and read from a written statement — about what had happened there only hours earlier.

Taranto said Schrader had wanted to purchase a Snapple drink before attempting the robbery.

When the register popped open to give change back, the clerk on duty said Schrader calmly asked for all the cash in the register.

“You’re kidding, right?” the female clerk responded.

Taranto then said Schrader stared blankly at the clerk then angrily turned away from the counter and pushed down a large rack full of beef jerky, chips, and snack cakes — among other treats.

Schrader, described as about 5-foot-6 and heavy set, then fled the store, leaving a mess in his wake.

The clerk wrote down the license plate number to Schrader’s 2008 Hyundai and contacted emergency personnel.

Responding state police patrols found Schrader’s vehicle traveling south on Route 9W in Catskill.

He was apprehended without incident and charged with third-degree attempted robbery, third-degree criminal mischief, both class E felonies, and driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Police said the drugs he was impaired by were not illicit and no weapons were involved in the incident.

Schrader was arraigned in Athens Town Court and remanded to the Greene County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail and $20,000 bond. He is due back in court on Jan. 13.

State police were assisted by the Catskill Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Greene County District Attorney’s Office.

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