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Massena businessman describes violent robbery

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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MASSENA, New York (WWNY) - It was a violent Massena robbery as a well-known business owner was run over. Police have released some surveillance.

Have you seen this UTV? Surveillance video shows it attempting to tow away a piece of equipment from Big Racquette landscaping Friday. Owner Jeff Garlach tried his best to stop the thieves – striking blows with his shotgun’s stock and his fists.

“He lost control of hanging onto the gun or the machine or both and that’s when I fell back with the shotgun in my hand,” said Garlach.

He stopped two men in the UTV from stealing the Toro track loader, but they still had a stolen trailer hitched up. Garlach fell back under it. The tracks left are still there.

“The tire went over top of me and I was balled up underneath the bed, being dragged,” said Garlach.

They got away. Garlach lay there. After a couple minutes he went inside and called 911. He had 5 fractured ribs and a dislocated shoulder. Got three nights in the hospital.

In the security video, you see the struggle. You see Garlach fall and the trailer give a big bounce just as he falls under it.

Police warn of a rash of vehicle thefts recently. St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police say a UTV was recently stolen from Massena, seen in Akwesasne, painted red. There were two other heroes in all this at Big Raquette – Bella and Hunter.

“I lay there for two minutes with one of my dogs right by my side. Come to find out the smallest dog got a bunch of bites into the second individual,” said Garlach.

Police are telling people to lock up vehicles, boats and other property.

Call police if you see anything suspicious. If you have information about the Big Racquette robbery call state police at 518-873-2776.

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