Unusual Suspects: Top Eleven of 2011

The Hudson Valley had its fair share of weird and unusual crime this year and we picked our favorites. Do you think we've left any out? Tell us in comments. Happy New Year!

Narrowing down the weirdest crimes from this past year was no easy task. As we perused our Unusual Suspects columns, certain themes emerged: calling the cops on oneself, potty humor in the Rivertowns, and fish thefts. Here's a list of weird and unusual crimes that are indicative of trends or simply outrageous. 

11. Fast Food Not Fast Enough

A Tarrytown taxi driver called police to report a slow-moving McDonald's drive-thru, which he said . When police arrived on scene, they issued a village code infraction to the driver for not displaying his taxi identification badge.

10. Praying He Won't Get a Ticket

A 32-year-old Mount Kisco resident and alleged pastor told a White Plains police officer who stopped him for using a cell phone while driving that he was actually praying—not engaging in conversation. During the traffic stop, the officer discovered that the man’s license was suspended. The man from being arrested and his vehicle from being impounded.

9. Flying Nemo Diverts Would-Be Thief 

Several Ossining  The residents told police that they saw the man try to enter through a door, but one of them threw a fish bowl at the thief, causing him to flee. Police are still investigating.

8. Scarsdale Sleepwalker Frolicks in Sprinklers

A disoriented, shoeless, 25-year-old male was reported running through residential sprinklers. Police arrived and took the man back to his Fox Meadow Road home, where the man's father said his son occasionally sleepwalks. The man refused medical treatment at the scene and no further police assistance was needed.

7. Missing Pumpkin

Hastings police were unable to find a missing pumpkin after a woman reported . The woman described the pumpkin as "uncarved and about one and a half times the size of a basketball" and worth about $5.


Elaine’s Seafood in Port Chester reported $4,000 in seafood stolen from its freezers. The freezer locks were broken and a back window was pushed up. This is the third burglary of the store since 2010, when 12 cases of squid and octopus valued at $1,375 were stolen. A burglar stole 240 pounds of shrimp worth $1,600 in September.


Clarkstown police responding to a drunk driving tip were surprised to find the caller was the driver in question. When a town police officer pulled into Chili's restaurant on Route 59 in Nanuet, Michael Trent, 58, of New City pulled his car up next to the officer and asked if it was OK to drive even though he had been drinking. The answer was "no," and Trent was charged after failing sobriety tests. 

4. Irvington Police: 

When a 53-year-old Hastings resident opened her car door, she got a handfull of poop, Irvington police said. The woman parked in the Irvington Reservoir Parking lot and took a bike ride. The woman did not believe she was targeted. In Hastings, a second port-a-potty was found on fire within a month. The  in Draper Park on May 7. Another  at the Hillside pool parking lot.

3. Man Says His Goods Were Stolen from His Underwear

Tarrytown man called police Aug. 17 and told them that he had allegedly been robbed in the middle of the night. He said a friend named “Russell” had stolen $500 from the underwear he was wearing while he slept. The man then told police that the amount was $750, before saying that it was actually $1,250. The man said his friend had a key to his apartment, but he was unable to give police a description of the suspect. Police determined that there was no merit to the man’s claims and offered him medical attention, which he refused.

2. Time to Steal the Doughnuts 

Eduardo Archinti, of Bedford, who lives a half-mile away from the Bedford Hills Deli on Babbitt Road, had apparently snuck out to the deli several times after it had received a big shipment of fresh doughnuts left on its sidewalk every night. The deli called police, who performed a stakeout July 14 at 2:40 a.m. and caught Archinti red-handed. Archinti admitted to stealing the doughnuts four previous times beginning June 10. 

1. A Burglar With Manners

A 29-year-old Brooklyn man decided  William J. Townsend made himself cereal and pancakes, placed dishes in the dishwasher, and took a nap in a recliner. The homeowner called 911 after she came home at 12:40 p.m. and smelled something burning. When she checked the house, she saw the dishwasher running and found Townsend asleep on the recliner. Police arrested Townsend for second degree burglary and found him in possession of some of the homeowner’s jewelry. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Stacy Abrams January 01, 2012 at 11:37 PM
so funny


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