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NY police: Heroin epidemic growing in the North Country - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NY police: Heroin epidemic growing in the North Country

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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -

Authorities in northern New York say they're doing their best to fight heroin and heroin related crimes, but they say the fight is getting tougher.

New York State police say the heroin epidemic is growing in the North Country. Police say it's a problem not only for law enforcement, but a problem for the entire community.

"Can't say I haven't had people who have probably picked up a couple things while they were here, while I was busy with other customers, and walked out. I've had one break in," said Peter Wilson, owner of Army Navy Surplus.

Wilson owns an Army Navy store in Saranac Lake. His business was broken into and burglarized last year.

"One can bet they were not stealing the stuff for personal use. It was probably for resale to support some habit," said Wilson.

New York State Police say addicts are stealing to pay for their drug habits.

"They're getting 2-3 times the amount of money they're getting paid for the city. So, unfortunately the supply of heroin in our area is significant," said Lt. Brent Davidson from New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

According to police car break-ins are popular among property thieves. To make sure you're as safe as possible, police say to lock the doors, use your car alarms if you have them and leave valuables like GPS’s and cell phones out of plain sight.

"At least some sort of deterrent to a criminal. Obviously if they want to get into any of these things they're going to do it. But sometimes even the slightest deterrent will make them choose the next car or the next house," said Lt. Davidson.

New York State is aiding local law enforcement agencies in the war on drugs. Plattsburgh City police just received a $45,000 grant to fight drug crimes. The grant money will be go to keep track of crime through technology and personnel and communicating with other agencies.

"Working together, trying to share intelligence. Arrest the people that are involved in bringing the drugs into the area and selling them," said Lt. Brent Davidson.

While police are doing what they can to protect the public, property owners should be on the lookout for those who might steal items for the resale value.

"It makes you take a look at the way you've got things covered, make some adjustments - which I did," said Wilson.

State police say they are also working with law makers to make stricter laws and harsher punishments for dealing heroin.

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