Holy hijinks! There were plenty of kooky crimes to go around this week, including vandalism with plastic forks in Pelham, a raccoon accused of loitering in Tarrytown, and the latest on a Chappaqua couple charged with a scam involving the CIA and Polish priests. Here are the top 10 notable crimes of the week:
Port Chester 'Burglary' Actually Utility Workers, Firefighters Checking for Gas Leak
When residents of an East Broadway apartment in Port Chester came back to their home last Thursday and found several window screens ripped open, they reported a burglary.
Along with the ripped screens and open windows, a door leading from the basement to the upstairs apartment was left open, and property in the basement had been scattered around. Police agreed, , and the burglar may have been scared off.
The only strange thing? Nothing was missing.
After checking with the fire department, police realized the "burglars" were firefighters and workers from Con Edison, who entered the building after responding to a report of a gas leak, Lt. James Ladeairous said. Items were knocked over when they entered through a basement window, which made it look like a burglar had torn through possessions in the basement.
The gas leak turned out to be a false alarm, although it wasn't immediately clear why authorities didn't notify the homeowners. After realizing the home had been entered in a fire department response, police called the apartment's residents and closed the case.
Plastic Forks Used as Lawn Decoration in Pelham
A Washington Avenue resident called Pelham Manor Police on March 26 to report that she awoke to find approximately 100 plastic forks impaled into her front lawn. Two discarded condoms were also found. It was unclear if they were used. The resident could not think of anyone who would target their household.
Ex-Pastor Embezzled Church Funds to Finance Online Gambling and Other Personal Expenses, Police Say
The former pastor of a Rockland County Roman Catholic Church to pay for personal expenses including online gambling, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe.
The Rev. Thomas Kreiser, 45, of 21 Cinder Road, Garnerville, is charged with one count of third-degree grand larceny in connection with the illicit use of an American Express card for St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville from March to June 2010.
Kreiser was pastor of the church from 2008 until his resignation in June 2010. If convicted, Kreiser faces a possible state prison sentence of up to seven years, said police.
Ex-Mayor Accused of Falsifying Daughter’s Educational Records to Increase Her Teacher’s Salary
Former Hillburn mayor and Ramapo Central School District Administrator Brian Miele, 60, was arrested on March 25 in order to boost her salary as a Ramapo Central teacher, according to police.
Police said Miele was responsible for tracking the educational records of Ramapo Central teachers, which in turn affected the salary and compensation of individual teachers. Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said Miele is accused of crediting his daughter, teacher Kristen Nicholson, with multiple educational credits she was not entitled to, illegally boosting her salary more than $40,000 during her employment with Ramapo Central.
If convicted, he faces a possible state prison sentence of up to seven years, Zugibe said, noting the investigation into teacher’s educational credits and certification is continuing.
Tarrytown: Men Accused of Loitering at McDonald’s; Raccoon Accused of Loitering on Porch
On March 26, a group of young people were accused of hanging out at a McDonald’s without purchasing any food. A 19-year-old Peekskill resident was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for failing to leave the premises.
On March 25, police responded to a call about a group hanging out and McDonald’s for an extended period and refusing to leave. Police found several men, under the age of 21, sitting in a booth drinking alcohol. Five males were arrested, some of them juveniles, and processed for possession of an alcoholic beverage with intent to consume. All were given court dates and released to responsible parties.
On March 24, a raccoon was reported on the rear deck of a Carrollwood Drive residence. The homeowner said the animal would not leave the area. Greenburgh Animal Control was unable to respond to the scene, but the raccoon eventually left on its own accord.
Pharmacy Worker Allegedly Stole Thousands of Pills from Mamaroneck CVS
Over the course of nearly a year and a half, Nicholas Carino, of New Rochelle, from the CVS on 1310 Boston Post Rd. in the Town of Mamaroneck, according to police.
Carino, until recently a pharmacy tech at the store, allegedly took over 4,600 Hydrocodone pills, 279 Xanax pills, 15 Viagra and 30 Cialis pills, worth more than $4,500, between October 2009 and March 15, 2011, said Town of Mamaroneck Police Lt. Robert Koziak.
Carino was arrested on March 25 and charged with grand larceny.
A Friday Night Gone Wrong for Father and Son in Yorktown
Yorktown police responded to call last Friday night from a Ridge Street resident, who reported that .
Upon arriving at the home, police arrested Kevin Alimonti, 44, for attempted assault of the resident, and his son, Michael Alimonti, 21, for allegedly threatening the resident with a tire iron.
Kevin Alimonti, who drove to the house, was also charged with driving while intoxicated.
But wait, there’s more.
Earlier the same evening, Kevin Alimonti allegedly harassed a woman in violation of an order of protection, police said, and was charged with second-degree criminal contempt, along with DWI and third-degree attempted assault for the second incident on Ridge Street.
Michael Alimonti was charged with second-degree menacing and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both misdemeanors.
Peekskill Man Attempts to Assume Dead Cousin’s Identity to Collect His Social Security
In a wide-ranging investigation involving New York State Police in Cortlandt, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations Unit, a Peekskill man was arrested on March 31 and charged with identity theft, forgery and several other fraud charges.
Police say Raymond Pompey went to the Peekskill DMV and Social Security offices and attempted to get a driver’s license and social security card in the name of his recently deceased cousin, in order to receive his social security benefits.
Pompey had previous success getting a driver’s license in his cousin’s name in Maryland.
At least Pompey didn’t pull a “Weekend at Bernie’s” move, like the two men in New York City who wheeled a recently deceased friend to various check-cashing places, trying to cash his social security check.
Man Charged With Impersonating a Police Officer
On March 16, several off-duty New York State troopers happened to observe a man driving a white Chevy Tahoe equipped with an emergency light, pulling over other motorists along Route 9 in Hyde Park.
Finding this suspicious, an off-duty officer approached the scene, and the man in the Chevy Tahoe drove away.
After an investigation, state police arrested John Scoggins, 59, of Hyde Park, for criminal impersonation of a police officer.
State police are asking anyone that may have been stopped by Scoggins in the past to contact the New York State Police at Rhinebeck at 845-876-4033.
Update on Chappaqua Couple Arrested for Complex Scam Involving the CIA, Recon Missions to Honduras, and Polish Priests
Update: In the latest news involving this case, Vickram Bedi, the owner of Mount Kisco's Datalink accused of swindling a pianist, was ordered back to jail Thursday after his bail was pulled, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office confirmed. His bail is set at $5 million and his next court date is April 20, Everson said. Bedi was initially freed on bail after a Feb. 28 hearing, she said.
Meanwhile, Bedi's girlfriend and alleged accomplice, Helga Ingvarsdottir, awaits sentencing after she took a plea deal on Dec. 14 to one count of first-degree grand larceny and a count of second-degree grand larceny, according to Everson.
Authorities said the Chappaqua couple involving lies about CIA connections, reconnaissance missions to Honduras and Polish priests attempting to infiltrate the U.S. government.
Bedi, 36, and Ingvarsdottir, 39, were originally arrested in November by Harrison Police while preparing to leave the country, authorities said. The couple extorted money from a single victim for six years—from August 2004 to October 2010—through Datalink Computers, their computer service business in Mount Kisco, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's office.
Harrison police estimate the total amount taken in the scam to be $20 million.
The victim, widely reported as Roger Davidson, 58, is noted, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's office, as "the great-grandson and great grand-nephew of the two brothers who founded Schlumberger Ltd.," which is an oilfield services company. He is also described as a "noted pianist and composer."
The couple came into contact with Davidson in 2004, after he developed a virus on his computer. Fearing that all of his documents and music, which were stored on the computer, would be lost, Davidson brought his computer to the couple's business for repairs, authorities say.
Authorities say Bedi told Davidson that his computer had been specifically targeted and that he and his family were in grave danger. Bedi convinced Davidson to not only pay for computer retrieval equipment, but for protection from the fictional group as well, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's office.
In a string of far-fetched lies, the pair used fear tactics to convince Davidson to make monthly payments to Datalink from his American Express card, authorities say.
During the six-year period Bedi told Davidson that he had traced the source of the virus to a hard drive in a remote area of Honduras, according to a press release. Authorities believe Bedi told Davidson that he had sent his uncle—whom Bedi claimed was an operative in the Indian Military—on a successful reconnaissance mission to retrieve the drive.
Bedi further claimed that his uncle obtained classified information that Polish priests affiliated with Opus Dei were attempting to possibly harm Davidson. Bedi also told Davidson that the Central Intelligence Agency had subcontracted him to prevent attempts by those Polish priests to infiltrate the United States government, said the district attorney.