Police: Airport incident started as robbery at Colonie Center Macy’s

COLONIE – A Columbia County man is facing a slew of charges after police say he crashed through a gate at Albany International Airport.

Colonie police arrested 27-year-old Tyler Meltz, of Hillsdale, Thursday. They say the incident stemmed from an armed robbery at the Colonie Center Macy’s around 3:15 p.m. Thursday.

They say Meltz threatened an employee with a knife during a shoplifting incident at the Macy’s in Colonie Center. Earlier reports indicated it may have been a handgun. It is not clear if he took off with any items.

Police say he then left the store in a car stolen earlier from the Stewart’s at 406 Albany-Shaker Road.

Police caught up with him and chased him. That’s when they say he drove onto the runway and crashed through a gate on the other side, near a Pepsi facility.

Meltz then took off on foot. Police chased him. He was arrested a short time later. Police have charged Meltz with second-degree attempted robbery, second-degree attempted grand larceny, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree reckless endangerment, and various other traffic violations.

They say Meltz has a criminal history, including an arrest for a bank robbery in Ulster, in May of 2021. They say the Rotterdam Police Department, Greenport Police Department, and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office also had warrants out for his arrest.

Police say the airport runway was inactive, and no flights were affected. Airport crews are now repairing the damaged fence and have put up a concrete barrier and a makeshift fence where it was broken.

This is the third time in the last year that someone has gotten into a restricted area of the airport.

In May, a man was caught in the cockpit of an empty plane overnight. The sheriff’s office said at the time that he got in through a fence.

And last June, a woman was arrested in a restricted area of the airport. In that incident, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said she ended up there because of negligence by Allegiant Air.

Colonie Center released the following statement:

"Thank you to our local police for their timely response to today’s incident. The safety and security of our guests, employees and retailers remains our top priority. This matter is currently under investigation."