Ulster deputy suspended after his official vehicle was burglarized

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Mid-Hudson News file photo.

ULSTER COUNTY – Several police agencies are investigating numerous car larcenies that occurred in Ulster County during the overnight hours on October 26th and 27th.  One of the vehicles that had property stolen was an official Ulster County Sheriff’s Office car assigned to a sergeant in the department.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Joseph Sciotto told Mid-Hudson News that one of the vehicles burglarized during the crime spree was assigned Sheriff’s First Sergeant Christopher Lutz, who was authorized to take the vehicle to his residence.  The sergeant was suspended, without pay, for 30 days after the larceny occurred but Sciotto declined to give the specific reasons for the suspension.

Sciotto also declined to comment on the specifics of the property taken from the police vehicle.  A source close to the investigation indicated that Lutz’s duty belt, holster, and firearm were among the items stolen.

In addition to being a decorated member of the sheriff’s office, Lutz had served as Deputy Police Chief for the Ellenville Police Department.  Ellenville Chief Phillip Mattracion told Mid-Hudson News that Lutz was planning to resign at least three weeks before the car larceny.

Lieutenant Sciotto said several police agencies received reports from many victims on October 27, 2022, that their cars had been broken into.  The ongoing investigation has linked the larcenies that occurred in Wawarsing, Rochester, and Ellenville in late October to additional larcenies and stolen vehicles in the Ulster County towns of Rochester and New Paltz, along with municipalities outside of Ulster County.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the sheriff’s office with the assistance of the New York State Police along with the Rosendale, New Paltz, and Shawangunk police departments.

Law enforcement officials have declined to say if any of the items stolen from the vehicles have been recovered.  The UCSO said that their department has not made any arrests as a result of the investigation.