Pictured is the Jesse James Gang. The items stolen from the West Seneca Historical Society, belonged to a man who claimed to be the last survivor of the gang.
Updated: Thursday, 20 May 2010, 2:24 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 08 Feb 2010, 10:51 AM EST
WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A museum burglary ring has been discovered, after a West Seneca theft investigation. Now, two brothers have been arrested for burglaries across New York State.
In October, members of the West Seneca Historical Society realized a gun and pocket watch, worth thousands of dollars, were missing. The stolen items originally belonged to a hermit who claimed to be the last survivor of the Jesse James Gang.
Phone records led detectives to a lengthy record of antique thefts. Information on the West Seneca case circulated through police agencies and several museum burglaries were cleared in Warsaw and Caledonia. Several other investigations are pending.
An arrest warrant for the suspect, 38-year-old Michael Ortiz, of Medina, was issued in January. Ortiz contacted the West Seneca Police Department but refused to surrender.
During an all-out search around in the Finger Lakes region, Michael Ortiz's brother, 35-year-old Roy Ortiz, was arrested at a Greece pawn shop for burglary of a museum.
On Friday, Michael Ortiz was arrested in Orleans County. He was returned to West Seneca, where he was arraigned for grand larceny. He was taken to the Erie County Holding Center on $3,500 bail. Should he make bail, a retainer is in place on him for the Village of Warsaw theft, where it is reported the DA plans on asking for $200,000 bail.