Diner stole woman’s wallet, police say

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NEW HARTFORD — A 61-year-old man is accused of stealing a woman’s wallet after she accidentally left it behind at Carmella’s Cafe on Seneca Turnpike.

Police said the woman was in Carmella’s on Jan. 26 and decided to change seats, only to accidentally leave her purse behind in her old seat. When the woman eventually returned home, she realized she’d left the purse behind in the cafe.

Police said they reviewed security camera footage from the cafe and spotted a man stealing the woman’s wallet from her purse. The wallet contained cash, credit cards and other property.

The police posted the security footage on their Facebook page earlier this week, and they said they received numerous tips identifying the suspected thief within a matter of hours.

Police said Greg J. Bala, 61, of Kirkland, turned himself in to police and has been charged with one count each of fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, and petty larceny, a misdemeanor. He was released on appearance tickets for Town Court.

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