GENESEO — A Batavia man is among three people charged in connection with multiple smash-and-grab burglaries across a four-county area.

The arrests were the result of a multi-jurisdictional task force set up by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office. Area businesses allegedly lost thousands of dollars in the crime spree.

Charged were Eric Smith, 35, and Kristina Marble, 26, of Rochester, along with Andrew Duckworth, 42, of Batavia.

“We could pretty much sum it up that it was these people who were involved and we started a little task force and we started running some surveillance,” said Livingston County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Rittenhouse during a Tuesday news conference.

The investigation started Oct. 26 when Livingston County deputies responded to a reported burglary at a business on South Livonia Road in Conesus. They spoke with an employee who advised that when she came to work, she found the location’s front door shattered.

After entering the business, deputies determined more than $3,000 worth of cigarettes had been stolen.

“They walked up to the front door and took a big rock, smashed the front window out, ran in, and were in and out of the store in less that a minute, and stole as many cigarettes as they could,” Rittenhouse said.

During the course of the investigation, Livingston County investigators identified a group of familiar suspects based on an earlier investigation from 2020. Smith and Marble had been among three people caught during a similar burglary last year in Ontario County.

Livingston’s investigators contacted state police, along with Genesee, Ontario and Wayne County sheriff’s deputies. They determined they were all currently investigating similar crimes.

The investigation revealed Smith had been released on parole for the 2020 crimes on Oct. 12, 2021, after spending three months at the Willard Correctional facility in Seneca County. He allegedly committed a burglary three days later in the town of Marion in Wayne County.

Marble, in the meantime, had been sentenced to probation for the 2020 crimes and was on post release supervision.

Smith and Marble were taken into custody Nov. 1 in Rochester. They were each charged with felony third-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, and third-degree criminal mischief.

Both were committed to Livingston County Jail without bail. Their respective parole and probation officers were also notified.

Duckworth, in the meantime, was charged in Wayne County with two counts each of third-degree burglary and petit larceny. He was released on his own recognizance.

Thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes were taken during each burglary. Rittenhouse said he believes the suspects would sell the cigarettes and keep the profits.

“I believe that by us getting together quickly and doing this multi-task jurisdictional task force together that we actually stopped more, because they were doing this every night or every other night,” he said. “By us identifying this quickly and identifying that this was identical to what we had last year, we were able to put a stop to it.”

Rittenhouse said he believes those involved were hitting the same stores as before. Additional charges against Smith and Marble are expected and more arrests are possible.

“This year they were down in Wayne County, Livingston County, Steuben County and Genesee County,” Rittenhoue said. “If we did not stop this when we did, it was just going to continue to grow. It was just a matter of which gas station, which mom and pop store they were going by that they were going to smash the front door out of.”

Deputies said the investigation involved several search warrants.

Assisting the investigation were the Genesee, Wayne and Monroe county sheriff’s offices; state police; the Rochester Police Department; the New York State Division of Parole; and the Genesee County Probation Department.

(Includes reporting by Matt Surtel of The Daily News of Batavia.)

Johnson Newspapers 7.1