Police in New Hartford say they're looking for the public's help in finding and arresting an alleged purse snatcher, who is identified as an illegal immigrant according to Chief Ron Fontaine.

Fontaine says, during the month of December 2023, the Police responded to two separate incidents of women claiming that their wallets were stolen from their pursues while they were shopping.

The first incident occurred at Hannaford located on Kellogg Road and the second incident occurred at Aldis on Seneca Turnpike. It was reported to the responding New Hartford Police Officer that a woman would use a distraction style approach which would cause the victims to be distracted from their purse, and an accomplice, a Hispanic male then would steal the wallet from within the purse. This male and female then fled the store and immediately proceeded to area retail establishments and purchased over $3,000.00 in gift cards with the victims stolen credit cards. 

After a three-month investigation conducted by the New Hartford Police Criminal Investigation Division in conjunction with the New York State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Syracuse Police Department Criminal Investigation Division and Agents from the Secret Service Task Force, who all had similar cases, this male suspect was identified as an illegal immigrant, 42-year-old Franco Celso Huamani-Tito of South America. 

The New Hartford Police currently have an Active Arrest Warrant for Huamani-Tito for the following charges, (2) counts of Identity Theft in the First degree, a class D-Felony, (2) counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D-Felony and (2) counts of Grand larceny in the Fourth Degree a class E- Felony. 

Huamani-Tito is being sought by The New Hartford Police Department, as well as The Syracuse Police Department and the New York State Police on active Felony Warrants related to these type crimes which occurred in other areas of the State.
Police are asking for calls and tips to be made to the Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers tip line, anonymously at 1-866-730-8477.

Police added as a reminder that "everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."

Authorities say, sharing this story with friends and family and on social media increases the chance of keeping our neighborhoods safe. Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% anonymous and cash rewards are given to people who deliver credible and accurate information which results in the arrest of wanted persons. 

Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is a community based program that is 100% completely anonymous, allowing people to deliver tips privately without fear of retribution. Crime Stoppers also offers cash rewards to people who provide information that lets to a suspect's arrest.

If you have any information about Huamani-Tito, contact Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers. You can place a 100% anonymous tip several ways. Tips can also be called in directly to the New Hartford Police.

1) Through this site by clicking submit a tip

2) Directly at www.p3tips.com

3) By calling 1-866-730-8477 (TIPS)

4) by downloading the Android app P3TIPS

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Crime Stoppers asks that tips are not submitted through Facebook Messenger. All tips must go through the tip lines.


[AUTHOR'S NOTE:   This post is for informational purposes and is based largely on information received from the New York State Police.  Regardless of any statements or photographs regarding potential evidence presented or accusations alleged, the reader is reminded that all suspects and arrested persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.  At the time of this posting no additional information is available.]

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