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Police arrest two in case of pet/house sitting 'nightmare'

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Police say they arrested 29-year-old Chelsea Cooke of Irondequoit and 26-year-old Anthony Altamura, of Kent. (Photo: Provided for WHAM)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Police have arrested two people who had been accused of causing damage to a home they were tasked with watching over.

Police say they arrested Chelsea Cooke, 29, of Irondequoit, and Anthony Altamura, 26, of Kent.

Last month, a Rochester couple says they hired Cooke to watch over their pets and home while they were away.

When they returned, they found their home in a state of disarray and thousands of dollars' worth of belongings missing.

Police have charged both Cooke and Altamura with third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal mischief.

According to court papers, Cooke and Altamura are accused of stealing more than $12,000 worth of belongings. The same documents say stolen items, like weddings rings and other jewelry, were recovered from pawn shops.

Court papers go on to list the estimated damage to the home between $12,000-$15,000, as well as $1,600 to replace a mattress, and $560 to fix a damaged car.

“We are relieved that the police investigators were able to give us some justice, we’ll be going to court with them soon where the judge will decide their final penalties...now that they are behind bars currently it enables us to focus on healing. Thank you for all the support we’ve been receiving from all around,” the Cooper family said in a statement released Tuesday morning.

As of April, the Rochester Police Department does not release mugshots of suspects pursuant to an amendment to the 2020 New York state budget.

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