Albany Team Owner: Gun Stolen In Locker Room Theft
A handgun was among the items stolen from the visiting team's locker room during Saturday's Red & Black game, the Associated Press reports.
However, Watertown police say no gun was reported stolen.
The owner of the Albany Metro Mallers, Sal Iavarone, told the Associated Press that cash, cell phones and other personal items - including the gun - were stolen from 21 of his players and coaches during the first half of Saturday night's game at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
The game was stopped at halftime because of the thefts.
Interim Watertown Police Chief Gary Commins told city officials Monday night that his department was not told a gun was stolen.
Iavarone said the gun was registered.
Separately, the commissioner of the Eastern Football League told 7 News that a similar theft took place during the previous weekend's game between Syracuse and Vermont.
David Burch said items were stolen from the locker rooms of both teams during the game, which was played in Fulton. Burch said there appears to be no connection between the Fulton incident and what happened in Watertown Saturday night.
Although police originally thought someone would have needed a key to get into the locker room, they discovered Monday the door doesn't close properly.
Police Lt. Derrigo said although the door is self-closing, it has not latched on its own anytime it's been tested since the alleged break-in.
"At no time does it close on its own," he said.
Derrigo said in order to latch, the door must be pulled tight the last quarter-inch.
Police have reviewed surveillance video, Derrigo said, but he declined to say what was recorded.
Here's what we reported earlier:
There are new details about the locker room thefts that ended Saturday night's Red and Black game at halftime.
Watertown police say it appears a suspect or suspects from out of town are responsible.
Cell phones, iPads and cash were stolen from more than 20 members of the Albany Metro Mallers football team while the players were on the field.
After the Albany players discovered the thefts at halftime, the rest of the game was canceled.
Police confirm what players told 7 News: the visiting team's locker room showed no signs of forced entry.
"Somebody had the key," said Albany running back D.J. Jones. "The locker room had to be opened. It was locked during the game," he said.
"It took them awhile to come unlock it at halftime. We was waiting at the door for like five minutes before somebody came in," Jones said.
"When they came and opened the door, that's when we opened the door to everybody's bag gone through, about 10 cell phones missing and a total for the whole team over $1,000," he said.
"Being down in that locker room, I don't know how they got in there," said Red and Black coach George Ashcraft.
"Thank God we don't have keys to anything but our own locker room now," he said.
"Let the city, the police and everybody else take care of whatever's going on and hopefully they catch whoever done it," Ashcraft said.
The only people with keys to the locker room are members of the Watertown city parks and recreation department.
Police say they have reviewed video from the fairgrounds and are following leads as they continue to investigate.
See our initial story about the thefts.