Police seek owners of 30,000 pieces of bling

For five years, someone prowled rural counties in upstate New York, pilfering pearl necklaces, gold chains, bracelets, coins, silverware and other valuables from an untold number of homes.

Now authorities face the daunting task of finding owners of the roughly 30,000 items discovered in 31 duffel bags after John Suddard’s recent arrest. So police in the village of Hudson Falls, near the Vermont border, are taking the novel step of displaying the items at the local high school on Wednesday night.

Burglary victims will be invited in, and an officer will escort them around tables set up in the cafeteria to see if any of the items are theirs.

Suddard, who has served three prisons terms for burglary since he was 19, was arrested Dec. 21 as he attempted to pawn jewelry and coins at an Albany-area coin shop stolen the day before an hour north in Hudson Falls. He is being held in jail without bail on charges of possessing stolen property. It wasn’t clear whether Suddard had a lawyer.

Suddard, 39, declined a phone interview from jail.

Hudson Falls Police Chief Randy Diamond said items recovered so far link Suddard to 24 burglaries, though there could be many more.

Police say the burglar’s method of operation was basic: Wait until people leave their house, break in and search for cash and jewelry.

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