Thief's 30K Piece Collection of Jewels, Valuables on Display for Identification

PHOTO: Police in upstate New York, who recovered 31 duffel bags stuffed with jewelry after the arrest of John W. Suddard, Jr., now face the daunting task of finding owners for the mini-mountain of loot.

Thanks to the apprehension of single prolific burglar, theft victims in upstate New York will peruse a 30,000 piece collection of stolen items tonight including jewelry, coins, silverware and a handgun, in hopes of finding something that was taken from them.

The collection is the product of a five-year robbery spree allegedly committed by John W. Suddard II.

Suddard, 39, was arrested on Jan. 2 and is believed to have targeted homes in New York's Washington, Warren and Saratoga Counties, according to police.

The trove of items was found in 31 duffle bags when he was arrested. One bag of silver alone weighed about 100 pounds, according to police.

"Suddard recently became a suspect in numerous daytime and early evening burglaries that only occurred during the winter months over the past five years," according to a Hudson Falls Police Department statement. "State Police assisted Hudson Falls Police using surveillance on Thursday, December 20, 2012 and Friday, December 21, 2012. As a result of the investigation, Suddard was found to be in possession of jewelry and coins stolen from a home in Hudson Falls. Suddard was arrested on Friday, December 21, 2012 after he sold several pieces of jewelry from a burglary the day before."

Suddard was also found with burglar tools and a camouflage ski mask were found in his car, police said. Duffle bags filled with jewelry and precious metals were found at his home and at a shed.

Authorities believe he sold some of the jewelry, but kept much of it for unexplained reasons.

Suddard was arrested for "numerous" burglaries in the 1990s, police said, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1997. The New York burglaries began after his release from jail, according to police.

Since so many items were stolen over a long period of time, police are taking the unusual step of displaying the recovered items for potential victims tonight at Hudson Falls High School.

The viewing is only for people who reported a burglary during this five-year span and filed police reports.

One of people planning to attend the showing is Francesco Venturiello of Schenectady, N.Y., whose home was ransacked during a robbery in May, leaving his wife devastated.

"[My] bedroom was taken apart," Venturiello told today. "Everything was thrown out of the drawers...They took all of my wife's jewelry."

Venturiello, 57, estimates that the jewelry was worth $75,000. His wife's collection included an irreplaceable Italian necklace that was a wedding gift from his parents, a 4-karat diamond tennis bracelet with matching earrings and a gold bangle with her opal birthstone.

It is unknown whether Suddard was responsible for the robbery at the Venturiello home, but he said he is praying and keep his fingers crossed that they will find some of their items tonight.

"She'll probably faint and I'll have to call an ambulance," he joked of what would happen if his wife spotted her jewelry.

Theft victims will not be able to take any items home tonight as they are still considered evidence.

Suddard was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and is being held at the Albany County Jail without bail. It was not immediately clear whether he has obtained a lawyer.

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