Teens charged with robbery

PERTH – Four teenagers were charged Monday in connection with the strong-armed robbery of a person in the parking lot of the former Stewart’s store on Route 30, Fulton County sheriff’s deputies said today.

Undersheriff Kevin Lenahan said these suspects were charged with felony counts of second-degree robbery: Brittany Bochenek, 17, of Union Mills Road, Broadalbin; Estephan Cosme, 17, of Union Street, Amsterdam; Rafael Garcia Jr., 17, of Division Street, Amsterdam; and Geovanny West, 16, of James Street, Amsterdam.

A sheriff’s office news release said the suspects were allegedly in the parking lot of the former Stewart’s Shop – which recently closed, after the business relocated across the street – during the early morning hours Monday. The release said the three men forcibly stole cash and other items from a man in the lot, and Bochenek drove the vehicle used during the crime.

“The victim was in the parking lot using his cell phone,” Lenahan said.

He said the victim was threatened by one suspect with what looked to the victim like a “baton.” Lenahan said the victim – unhurt in the incident – was made to get out of his car while Cosme, Garcia and West went through the vehicle, stealing items that included the man’s wallet and a pair of sneakers.

The undersheriff said the victim went to the home of an acquaintance in Perth to use his phone and called the sheriff’s office.

The release said the four suspects were found a short time later at an address at 132 Norboro Road in the town of Johnstown and taken into custody.

The suspects were arraigned in Johnstown Town Court before Justice David Edwards and sent to the Fulton County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond each.

All four suspects will appear later in Perth Town Court.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.