November 26, 2021

Man charged in 5 break-ins, sought in 6th

A homeless man charged in an Oct. 2 Cortland break-in was charged with second, third, fourth and fifth break-ins over the weekend, and was sought in connection with a sixth Monday morning — of a Guthrie Cortland Medical Center COVID19 testing site, Cortland police said.

Police were called about 6 a.m. Monday to the testing site on Homer Avenue, where someone entered the building and stole four laptop computers and pieces of medical equipment, police said.

Evidence at the scene pointed to Michael P. McCloy, 27, who is homeless, police said, but did not detail what the evidence was.

McCloy had been arrested following an Oct. 2 break-in at St. Mary’s School on North Main Street, where 15 laptop computers were stolen. He was charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny, felonies. He was released without bail pending a future court appearance.

He was arrested again Saturday at 22 Main St., when police found him in possession of items that had been stolen from a nearby vehicle. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and ordered to appear later in Cortland City Court.

On Sunday morning, police were called to the Dollar General at 172 Homer Ave. for a reported break-in. Items were strewn across the store and outside the back door. The store’s surveillance video showed McCloy in the store about 3:45 a.m., gathering items, but he was scared off by an alarm, getting away with only cigarettes, police said. Police were unable to find him then.

Several hours later, at 1:43 p.m. a Clinton Avenue woman told police her apartment had been broken into and her PlayStation 4 gaming console stolen. Rather than simply force the locked wooden door, the suspect tore a hole in the ceiling of the apartment building’s common area, traveled through a crawl space and broke through the ceiling of the woman’s apartment, landing in the living room. The victim reported McCloy had been there about 11 a.m., asking to use the telephone and had seen the resident leave the apartment.

Police found McCloy about 4 p.m. near South Avenue and Main Street, pulling a large blue suitcase, in which police said they found a gaming console and an XBox game console. McCloy was arrested again.

Forty-five minutes later, police were called to another break-in at a Tompkins Street residence. The victim said an XBox game console and a large blue suitcase were stolen, police said.

Police told him they already recovered his property.

McCloy was charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, petit larceny and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, misdemeanors.

He was arraigned in Cortland City Court and released without bail pending a future court appearance.

However, now he’s sought in connection with a sixth break-in, of the testing facility. Police said evidence gathered at the Homer Avenue facility points to McCloy.

People with information about the whereabouts of the four stolen laptops or the medical equipment can contact Lt. Michael Strangeway at 607-758-8307 or email mstrangeway@cortland.org.

Strangeway suggests that residents keep their vehicles and residences locked, even while at home.