Sheriff: Author of Bogus Email Used Fourth, Fifth-Hand Information

Sender believed contents of the message, which reached folks in the Brewster area, were 'true and correct.'

Officials have touched base with the person behind an email that caused concern in Southeast, and they're confirming the content is false.

The message, which several residents received earlier this week, was from a "Grace" who warned of "two more break-ins and rapes" in the Gage Road area of town. Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith said Wednesday his office checked with various Putnam law enforcement agencies and had no reason to believe the email was valid. 

At that point, police had been unable to contact the sender. Since then, Investigator John Alfano of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation was tasked with tracing the origin of the email—and determining its authenticity.

His probe led to a woman who lives in New Fairfield, CT. Her "apparent motivation was to inform area residents to be wary of the criminal activity and not to disseminate false information or cause unnecessary
panic to others." 

Police did not provide her name.

"Upon being interviewed, she explained that she obtained the information from friends, who apparently received the information fourth or fifth-hand from others," officials said in a statement Friday. "Although she did not check with authorities as to the validity of the information contained in her email, the sender believed that its contents were true and correct."

Smith said the case is closed, as there "was no apparent violation of law."

He did note a number of criminal incidents—a home invasion in New Fairfield, CT that led to the assualt of a resident, and an armed man entering a Dutchess County home and demanded cash—that recently occurred in the surrounding area.

"We must always stay vigilant and take added precautions to stay safe," he said. "Keep doors to our homes and vehicles locked and always report suspicious people, vehicles or activity to local police or the Sheriff’s Office." 


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