Suspect caught in fire department burglary case

18 cameras show different views of downtown, and were instrumental in catching the suspect / Ashley Knight

Police have caught the man they say robbed the fire department headquarters of between $60 and $80 dollars.

Willie Joe Lee was arrested, thanks to the 18 cameras set up in the downtown area.

"The video made a huge difference and us having these downtown cameras was the main factor in us solving this crime," says Fire Department Investigator Sam Harris.

Once they had the video, police went to work.

"We showed the video to some homeless guys and asked them who it was, some guys from the dray line, cause we knew that's where he had come from," says Harris.

They got a name and located him on West Residence Avenue, but Lee didn't come quietly.

"He was hiding in an abandoned house in a wooded area. Once we started towards him, he took flight and we chased him back to North Jackson Street where we were able to apprehend him," says Detective Terrance Bryant with the Albany Police Department.

Still, a fire department is a strange place to rob. So how did he know they even had money you ask? He walked into the main lobby and asked for change for a $5. He then watched the administrative specialist go get the change from a filing cabinet drawer. When police say he broke in Sunday morning, he made a bee line for those filing cabinets. Nothing else was touched.

Police are still holding on to the surveillance video until after the investigation is complete.