All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

North Castle Police Headquarters
15 Bedford Road
Armonk, NY

Non-Emergency
(914) 273-9500

North Castle Department's
Police Benevolent Association:
northcastlepba.com

Armonk Fire Department
400 Bedford Road
Armonk, NY
Non-Emergency (914) 273-3292

www. armonkfd.com

Dog Control Officer
North Castle Police Department
Contact Angel Morales
(914) 273-9500

Banksville Independent Fire Department
33 Bedford-Banksville Rd
Bedford, NY

(914) 234-7104
www.banksvillefire.org

North White Plains Fire Department
621 North Broadway
North White Plains, NY

(914) 949-3575
www.ncsfd1.com

North Castle Police Department
Press Summary for 12/22/2017 to 01/04/2018

On December 22 at 9:11 AM, Patrick Felix Menezes was taken into custody at the Westchester County Jail on an arrest warrant. The party was charged with Robbery in the First Degree in association with a robbery on December 12 at the Exxon Mini Mart at 750 North Broadway. Menezes was arraigned before a North Castle Judge and was remanded back to Westchester County Jail.

On December 22 at 7:48 PM there was a general dispute on Washington Avenue. A caller reported having a dispute with another party over a parking space. Officers responded and reported the matter was adjusted.

On December 23 at 12:12 PM, a complaint was received about the roadway condition on Whippoorwill Crossing. The complainant reported that it is difficult to see the cement barricade at the end of Whippoorwill Crossing and SR 120 at night. The complainant also stated it is difficult to see the barricade when snow is plowed up against it. The complainant requested more caution reflectors to be placed at the barricade.


On December 24 at 9:30 AM, an alarm went off at the Wampus School. A complainant called to report that he attempted to gain entry to the school to obtain his son’s ski jacket. In doing so, he found an open door and set off an audible alarm. Officers responded and reported that the building was un-secured.

On December 25 at 6:14 AM, there was a parking complaint from Washington Avenue. An officer reported an attempt to locate the owners of vehicles which were parked in the roadway during a snowstorm. The road needed to be cleared for the highway department to plow.

On December 26 at 2:18 PM, Armonk Fire Department and several other local FD agencies were dispatched to the Westchester County Airport for an inbound airplane in distress with one engine down. All units were advised.

On December 27 at 12:10 PM, there was an erratic driver reported from Business Park Drive. A complainant reported a black Dodge muscle car driving aggressively in the parking lot of the listed location. An officer responded and reported that the vehicle was gone on arrival.

On December 27 at 5:33 PM, an accident on Old Mount Kisco Road was reported. A caller reported there was a vehicle parked in the woods near her residence. An officer responded and reported that a vehicle had been parked in a driveway at Old Mt Kisco Road. Apparently the parking brake disengaged, causing the vehicle to roll down the driveway and into the woods. The vehicle was recovered by a tow truck.

On December 27 at 7:19 PM, a caller reported a dog in the area of Stony Brook Place had been barking for over three hours. The complainant was concerned the dog was is in distress due to the cold weather. An officer responded and reported that all was quiet in the area.

On December 28 at 1:08 PM there was a fire-smoke condition reported from Hobby Farm Drive. A caller reported a smoke condition coming from her basement. She was advised to leave the residence and wait for the Fire Department to arrive. An officer responded and reported there was a condition with the geothermal heater. The Fire Department remained on location to address the issue.

On December 29 at 11:13 PM, a complainant reported a suspicious black Honda Civic vehicle, occupied by three males, on Maryland Avenue. Officers responded and arrested all three parties for Criminal Possession of the Controlled Substance of marijuana. They were all released on bail.

On December 31 at 12:22 AM, Armonk Fire Department ambulance was dispatched over Department Plextron to I684 S/B mile marker 7.5 S/B ramp to SR22 for a reported accident with injuries. New York State Police were notified and reported a unit was on the scene. A North Castle Police officer responded and reported that the State Police unit was on the scene. The officer remained on scene to assist State Police and Armonk Fire Department with traffic by closing the Exit 3 ramp.

On January 1 at 12:06 AM, a complainant reported hearing loud noises, possibly gun shots, from the area of Whippoorwill Road. Officers responded and reported they canvassed the area that was quiet and the matter was unfounded.

On January 1 at 4:46 AM, a complainant reported that he was an Uber driver and drove an intoxicated male party home to his residence. The driver reported that the passenger was unable to get inside his residence and he did not want to leave him outside. An officer responded to the residence and reported there was no vehicle out front and checked the area. As the Desk Officer attempted to contact the complainant, he arrived at police headquarters with the party. The party was subsequently transported by Armonk Ambulance to Northern Westchester Hospital for evaluation.

On January 1 at 7:16 AM, a complainant called from Pheasant Drive. She said that she was locked out of her house due to locks being frozen. An officer was dispatched to the residence to assist. Matters were adjusted.

On January 1 at 7:06 PM, a caller reported that there were dogs barking and crying outside a residence on Carpenter Way. An officer responded and reported that he was unable to make contact with the homeowner. The Desk Officer contacted the homeowner via telephone, and he said he would be home in an hour and a half to secure the dogs.

On January 2 at 7:31 AM, an accident was reported from Hillandale Avenue. A caller reported that he was driving at the listed location when his vehicle slipped on ice causing him to crash. The caller reported there were no injuries at this time. An officer was dispatched to the location.

On January 3 at 11:53 AM, a dog was found on Cox Avenue. An employee at Adopt-A-Dog reported finding a male Pit Bull. The employee said the dog is approximately 8-years in age and is white and brown in color. The dog had no collar or chip. Adopt-A-Dog will keep the dog in their possession. DCO was advised of this incident.

On January 3 at 11:34 PM a call was received to assist a citizen at Carpenter Way. The caller reported a strong odor of gasoline was inside the residence which was caused by a leak from his vehicle that was parked in the garage. The vehicle was moved to the driveway. Control notified for Armonk Fire Department (AFD) dispatch and condition was corrected by AFD.

Total Incidents for Reporting Period: 306


The North Castle Police Department reminds residents to lock your vehicles and homes, activate your alarm, leave the lights on, and don’t allow delivered packages to sit outside for long periods of time during the holiday season.

North Castle Police Blotter Press Summary 12/08/17 - 12/14/17

On December 8 at 3:33 PM, a complainant responded to the police headquarters to report unwanted communication via text message and social media. A deposition was taken.

On December 8 at 6:57 PM, an animal complaint from Washington Avenue was received. The caller reported a large cat, possibly a bobcat, was walking in the roadway near the listed area. An officer responded and reported the animal was gone on arrival (GOA).

On December 8 at 10:47 PM, a general dispute was reported at Business Park Drive. The caller reported a physical altercation between players in the sports dome. Officers were dispatched to the location and reported the situation was under control.

On December 9 at 11:58 AM, a vehicle was disabled on Middle Patent Road. The caller reported that a vehicle slid off of the roadway and was in a hazardous location, partially blocking the roadway. The vehicle was undamaged, and was extricated by Armonk Garage and left under its own power. No apparent injuries resulted.

On December 9 at 1:11 PM, a civil complaint was made at the North Castle Police Department desk. A taxi driver reported that he had transported a party to Wrights Mill Road. That party had exited the taxi and said he would return with the fare of$120. The complainant stated that he waited for 40 minutes, and the passenger did not return. The driver also reported that the passenger left items in the taxi. An officer responded to location with the complainant and reported the matter was adjusted.

On December 9 at 1:51 PM, an anonymous caller reported a malfunction with the railroad crossing gate at Virginia Road, which caused a traffic issue. An officer responded and confirmed the condition. The MTA PD was advised and responded on the scene at 2:15 PM.

On December 9 at 4:07 PM, a caller reported that a vehicle had struck a utility police on High Street. An officer reported an accident occurred with an airbag deployment. The vehicle was in a hazardous location, partially blocking roadway. Armonk Fire Department Ambulance and Armonk Garage were dispatched. The officer reported the utility pole was slightly damaged as a result of incident, and Con Edison was advised.

On December 9 at 6:06 PM, a residential burglary took place at Jackson Road, Banksville. Officers responded and reported a shattered rear sliding door at the location, which was used to gain entry into the residence. The burglary is under investigation by the North Castle Detective Division.

On December 10, at 1:30 PM, a caller reported property damaged on Glendale Avenue. The complainant reported the town’s snow plow had damaged property in front of his house.

On December 11 at 2:12:08 PM, a town ordinance complaint was received from Brundage Street. The complainant reported a party had asked to gain entry to her home and view her Con Edison gas meter. The party stated they were affiliated with a company called "Trinity Energy". The complainant said the party was operating a gray mini-van. There was no license plate information provided. An officer responded and checked the area with negative results as the vehicle was GOA.

On December 12 at :54 AM, an E-911 call was received to report a recent armed robbery on North Broadway, North White Plains. Officers were dispatched to the scene.

On December 13 at 9:33 AM, a complainant reported a tree had fallen on wires on North Lake Road and that she had lost power. An officer responded and confirmed a tree was resting on wires from a pole.

On December 13 at 9:55 AM, a complainant reported the highway condition of a tree across North Broadway, which obstructed one lane. An officer responded and reported t a tree was resting on the wires near a pole, as well there were secondary wires on the ground.

On December 13 at 12:41 PM, a complainant reported a tree limb obstructing a lane of traffic on Sarles Street. An officer responded and reported there was a tree limb that was obstructing a lane of traffic.

On December 13 at 3:15 PM, a highway condition at Smallwood Place was received from multiple callers who reported a construction site prevented the school bus from getting through. An officer responded and spoke to the contractor working at the location. He said provisions could be made for the buses as they would be working there over the next two days.

On December 13 at 5:37 PM, an accident was reported from Bedford Banksville Road. The caller reported that he struck a deer with his car. An officer responded and reported that the animal was removed from the roadway.

On December 13 at 7:11 PM, an animal was reported injured on Route 22. Multiple callers reported an injured deer in the roadway. Officers responded and reported that the animal was deceased and was removed from the roadway.

On December 13 at 8:23 PM, an accident was reported on Washington Avenue, North White Plains. A caller reported an older man was struck by a motor vehicle in the street in front of her residence. Officers responded to the accident and reported the pedestrian had minor injuries.

On December 14 at 12:22 AM, the roadway conditions of ice and snow were reported. The Highway Department was notified.

On December 14 at 4:13 AM, a traffic safety condition was reported on Bayberry Road. The Highway Department personnel reported construction equipment obstructed the roadway in front of the listed address, which may have created a traffic hazard for school bus traffic. An officer responded and reported that he was unable to make contact with anyone at the residence, however the roadway was passable at that time.

On December 14 at 8:37 AM, there was a reported larceny from a vehicle on Ridgeview Drive. A complainant presented at headquarters to report that personal items were taken from his vehicle overnight.

On December 14 at 7:22 PM, the roadway condition of ice and snow were reported on Troy Lane. Officers responded, confirmed the condition, and notified the highway foreman.

On December 14 at 7:45 PM, a residential burglary occurred at Piping Brook Lane, Banksville. The burglar alarm was activated from the foyer motion at the location. An officer responded and located a broken glass of the rear door slider with several foot steps in the snow. This incident was the same modus operandi of the burglary that occurred on December 9. The burglary is under investigation by North Castle Police Detective Division.

Total Incidents for Reporting Period: 176


Overnight Armed Robbery in North White and Port Chester Connected

December 12, 2017

The North Castle Police reported that at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, a white, possible Hispanic man, committed an armed robbery at the Exxon gas station and convenience store located at 750 North Broadway, North White Plains. Only the store clerk was inside in the store at the time of the crime.

A single male perpetrator displayed a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash from the clerk. No one was injured and the suspect fled by foot.

The suspect appeared to have dark hair and was described to be approximately 5’8” tall. He wore a gray sweat shirt and sweat pants, and a surgical type mask over his face.

A similar armed robbery also occurred in Port Chester this morning at 2:42 a.m. The nature of that crime, as well as the description of the suspect in both incidents, has lead the police departments to link the two robberies together.


Police Department Offers Burglary Prevention Tips

Useful advice is given by the North Castle Police Department of how to protect your home, keep it safe and secure. Windows, doors, lighting and general tips are areas of your home that can be made safer.

Windows & Doors
• Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if you are going out for just a short time, make sure you lock up.
• Keep your garage door closed and locked. Do not rely on an automatic garage door opener to provide security. Also, make sure to lock any connecting door between the garage and your home.
• Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
• Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. In addition to keeping them locked, place a metal rod or wooden pole into the track to prevent burglars from forcing it open or lifting it off the track. Special locks are also available to provide better security.
• Use curtains on garage and basement windows.

Lighting
• Absence of interior lighting indicates a home is unoccupied.
• Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
• Have adequate exterior lighting, including motion-sensitive lights that alert you when someone has come on your property.
• Make sure there is good lighting around your front door and along any walkway or hallway leading to it.

General Tips
• Setting your alarm. Many times, burglary victims have alarms that were not set. Regardless of the short time you plan on leaving your house, SET YOUR ALARM!
   
Have your alarm system serviced as per your monitoring company’s recommendations. A regularly serviced alarm system will prevent false alarms, and ensure your home is protected in a power outage.
• Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take all items away daily.
• Make it appear that you are never away for an extended period of time; arrange for your lawn to be mowed, snow removed, etc., if you are going away for an extended time,
• Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
Partnering with the Police
• The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!
• Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Police when you see something suspicious.

Town of North Castle Police Department
15 Bedford Road Armonk, NY 10504
(914)273-9500
Emergency call 911

North Castle Police Department Encourages A Good Neighborhood Watch To Deter Burglaries

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The following article was written after a discussion about burglary prevention with Lieutenant Geoffrey Harisch of the North Castle Police Department.

Republished February 23, 2017
“If you see something, say something.” The billboards are familiar in Manhattan and other big cities. But it is just as true in Armonk, according to North Castle Police Lieutenant Geoffrey Harisch, a 29-year veteran on the force. Trust your instincts, he advises, and if something does not feel right, call the police department. "I don't know how many times people tell us, ‘We knew something wasn't right, but I did not want to be a pain.’ We encourage people to call," said Lt. Harisch. "That is what we are here for, to respond to suspicious calls and investigate them. Even if it is anonymous, call it in. You can say, ‘There is a dark blue car and it seems suspicious, but I don't want to get involved, I want to be anonymous’ and hang up."  

"The economy is a reflection of the burglaries that are going on," said Lt. Harisch. Two recent burglaries in Armonk are under investigation and the details can not be discussed. "But if we catch someone, they are usually accountable for several burglaries and we can stop it for while. That one phone call can help if a patrol car is in the area, the patrol can stop the car, maybe notice something in the car and the next thing you know we are closing out the case that we have the entire task force investigating. In the past, multiple local burglaries have been tied together, but sometimes they are independent. As the detectives collect more data and information, they try to connect things and figure out the ‘modus operandi’ or method of operations. Usually, the final connection is made when they catch the people and then you find out certain things from what they are willing to give you.

"I tell people the number one thing is to please lock the doors and turn on the security alarm. Many people say, ‘we are afraid the alarm will be set off and we will have to pay a fine.’ What is the point of an alarm system? Make sure your batteries are charged and that everyone in the house knows the code.”

Other ways to discourage burglars are fairly simple and rely on common sense. "If you go away,” Lt. Harisch stressed, "stop the mail, the newspaper and anything that is obvious that will pile up. A halfway decent burglar will case the place and look for telltale signs of no activity. Is the car parked in the same exact spot all the time? Use deterrents -- a beware of dog sticker, a note on the door, ‘Mary, I'll be back in 5 minutes.’

"The average burglary can take five to eight minutes. The burglars read the obituaries and target those homes. Some people hire a security company to attend to the estate or stay in the house.”

According to Lt. Harisch, the police offer additional ways to avoid break ins,. "If you go away, file a dark house card with the North Castle Police Department; when time and priority allows, we do a routine check. The form asks: Do you have timers on your lights? Did you stop your mail? Who are your key holders? If something happens, give us one or two phone numbers to call 24/7. It could be something besides a burglary, perhaps smoke coming out of the house from an oil burner backup.

"Protect yourself by having one or two neighbors look out for you. If you leave a car out in the driveway, and you have a good rapport with your neighbors, ask them to move the car, turn it around, or pull it further up the driveway to appear as if someone is home. If you are away for an extended period of time, and someone is casing the place, don't stop services like grass mowing or anything else that appears as maintenance. Plus, if the landscapers see something, they will report it. The landscaper is also a deterrent because it is an activity."  

From "A Prolific Burglar Shares Tips From Prison",  Lt. Harisch relayed the wisdom gleaned from the author’s admitted 203 burglaries and six-year prison sentence. The author wrote that a big indicator for him was mail in the doorway, ‘It is such a giveaway that someone is on holiday.’ In most North Castle homes, newspapers pile up in the driveway and burglars check the mailboxes to see if they are full, or if the mailbox is full, the door may open.

"Leave music playing in the house. It does not use that much electricity. It is another thing that keeps them from hearing if somebody is walking around,” Lt. Harisch continued. “These are all deterrents and some are better than others. Dogs are loud and noisy. The burglar might break in then and there, or if he is not sure, some of them come back with a partner or maybe not. Or they will knock on the door and then they will wait. If someone is home, they will give some stupid reason, such as their car broke down, or ask for directions. That's a golden opportunity to call us. Respond with, 'I'm not really sure.’ Try to act as normal as possible, and try to see what kind of car they are in or if someone picks them up. Call immediately, as soon as they go. Even if you can't get the plate number, describe the car, a blue four-door car. But we don't want people to jeopardize themselves by running out to take a look at the plate number. Try to describe the guy, his looks and his size.

"The majority are burglars for a reason, they don't want to be robbers. They don't want to do any forcible stealing as in a robbery, but they rather do the sneaky stealing. In my career, a majority of times, when a burglar was caught in the house, they did everything to get away from the resident. They don't want to be identified and they are not about attacking anyone. They are just there to steal what they want to steal. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, as there always are, but more times than not, they are going to try to get away and don't want to be identified.

"After someone who I know got burglarized, he left a bucket around his car as if someone were washing their car, went out for a while, and would be right back. It is not something you usually see sitting in the driveway.

"Anything that you can do that gives the appearance that someone may be home is a huge deterrent to a burglar. The lights on are always good, but a professional who may be back more than once to study the house will see that the lights are on at the same time. In my experience, the majority of burglars were opportunists. They come in to a neighborhood, drive by, break in, take what they want and leave. They would be in such a rush, as some of them want to steal something specific as jewelry or money. There has been a case where all they wanted was the television set. The guy walked by a wallet packed full of cash that was sitting on the table because he zeroed in on getting the television, got the television and left. A majority of those people are drug addicts, they go to their fence, sell it and get their money. But now it is more about the economy and people suffering.”  

Lt. Harisch also discussed the psychological impact of having one’s home burglarized. He outlined some of the ways homeowners can enhance the security of their homes, "If someone is a victim, it is a tremendous invasion of privacy. It is a violation especially if someone breaks in and you have family. You can take steps to prevent it. Make your house more secure, if your basement door has only one lock, put a deadbolt on it. You can add strength to the lock by putting longer screws in the door, and make them go deeper into the wood. If you have the money, set up an indoor security surveillance, they are not that expensive. Also you can set up an outdoor surveillance system on the main focal point of the driveway to the approach of the house from the road. The minute a burglar sees that, especially if he has a little savvy, he is not going to want that. And psychologically these things may ease your mind.

"Generally, burglars want to be discreet and make a entry as quickly as possible from a blind side of the house away from the public's view -- usually the rear or side of the house that is not open to the neighbors. But if they walk up to the front door, and notice the front door is open, they will just walk in. That's why I encourage everyone to lock the front door. Also from the insurance perspective, it makes a difference if there is forcible entry into the residence. There is no excuse to not lock the house.”

Burglars are often looking for jewelry since the items are easily transported and sold, and many homeowners keep easy access to even their most expensive items. Lt. Harisch had a number of suggestions for keeping these small valuables more secure, "Don't write down your four-digit pin number anywhere. If they find it in your wallet or purse, they will likely figure it out. Also keep a list of all your valuables, especially your jewelry. You can keep your costume jewelry out, but hide your good jewelry in a place that is not going to be the usual, use your imagination to put it somewhere that is unusual. They want to be in and out real quick. Do not use your dresser drawers or areas like that, they will find that. If you are not wearing an expensive piece of jewelry; a fine ring or nice watch all the time, put that in an area that is not such an inconvenience to get to when you need it, but is cleverly hidden. Or get a safe deposit box. And leave the rest of the stuff, costume jewelry that is not as expensive, to throw them off to think they got what they came for, so they stop searching.”

Lt. Harisch emphasized that anytime you have reason to believe that you are being observed or targeted for a burglary, "Call us right away, especially if they knock on your door. Every minute, that person will travel that much further away. When they ring your bell, try not to act suspicious of them, just answer the question, ‘No, I don't have any antifreeze.’ A majority of the people have a gut feeling and should act on that. Call and don't delay."

North Castle Police
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North Castle Police Department
Kevin Finney

Drug Bust in North Castle

On October 6, members of the North Castle Police Department Detective Division, along with members of the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force arrested Kevin Finney (DOB: April 6, 1964) of Nethermont Avenue, North White Plains. He was charged with Criminal Possession of a controlled Substance 3rd Degree (B Felony) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 4th Degree (C Felony).

The arrest was made after a traffic stop of Finney’s 2004 Chevrolet Malibu in the area of Hillandale Avenue in North White Plains. Finney was found to be in possession of 190 glassine envelopes containing heroin. He was arraigned and sent to the Westchester County Jail on a $10,000 bond/cash bail. Finney is due back in the North Castle Town Court on October 17 at 5:00 p.m.


North Castle Police
North Castle Police Implement New Collection of Prescription Drugs

April 21, 2015
The North Castle Police Department is pleased to announce the implementation of a new program for disposing of prescription drugs and medications. Our new program allows citizens to safely rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription medications and provides for proper disposal, in doing so, protecting our children and the environment. The drug take back program originated with the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) working in conjunction with local municipalities on a semi-annual basis in which specific dates were set aside for citizens to dispose of unwanted prescription medications at their local police department. Traditionally, the North Castle Police Department, the D.E.A. and the North Castle Recycling Committee coordinated efforts so that the Drug Take Back Day took place on the same day as the highly successful Zero Waste Day in Town. The overwhelming public response led Town Officials and the North Castle Police Administration to explore ways to expand the program. Now, citizens can safely dispose of prescription medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new North Castle Drug Collection Unit has been installed in the lobby of the Police Department which is located in Town Hall. The unit itself is similar to that of a U.S. Mailbox.

Acceptable Items:
- Prescription medications
- Prescription patches
- Prescription ointments
- Over the counter (OTC) medications
- Vitamins
- Medication samples
- Medication for pets

Non-acceptable items:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Inhalers
- Aerosol cans
- Needles
- OTC ointments, lotions, liquids

For question regarding this new program, contact the North Castle Police Department at (914) 273-9500.

Westchester County Released CrimeTips App

September 17, 2014
The tip411 system has now released apps for both Apple and Android users to submit tips to any participating tip411 department in Westchester, including North Castle's Police Department.

See something that’s not quite right? An App can be downloaded for iPhones and Android to easily report anonymous tips to the local police.

Here are the links to download the apps:

iPhone - iTunes Store

Android - Google Play Store


North Castle’s New Police “tip411” Allows for Complete Anonymity

April 15, 2014

North Castle’s Police Chief Geoffrey Harisch has secured a free nationwide communications service that has been made available by the Westchester District Attorney’s office. The tip411 Citizen Observer system is user-friendly, completely anonymous, and is monitored 24/7 by three trained detectives of North Castle’s Detective Division: Sergeant Dennis Murray, Detective Thomas McCormack and Detective Patsy DeBenedictis, who has been appointed administrator of the system.

Instead of leaving a recorded voicemail, Detective DeBenedictis says, the anonymous texts and emails of the new 411 system are received immediately and the technology does not allow for the tipster to be identified.

The Citizen Observer system offers two options for tipsters to report tips: text messages and a web-based form located on North Castle’s town website, in the News and Announcements section.

Each text tip or message is received instantaneously and all information goes through the Citizen Observer site. All identification is blocked and therefore cannot be traced. The tips are investigated and typically there is a low percentage countywide, about four percent, of tips that turn out to be bogus, says Detective DeBenedictis.

Text tips are simple to send. Type 847411 or tip411 and message NCPD then space, followed with the tip, and then send. Within a few seconds the members of the Detective Division will receive the message on their cellphones, as well as the Police Department’s desktop computer. After an officer logs in with his credentials, the tip is received and identified by an assigned number. The Police Department may respond to the tip and have a dialogue with the tipster, but the sender will always remain anonymous. If the submitter texts STOP, the Police Department is notified, and the communication is automatically terminated.

Unless the sender asks for no further communication, the Police Department will reach out and ask if there is something else to report. In the cities of White Plains and Yonkers about 40 percent of the tipsters have agreed to meet with the police. DeBenedictis says this can be done discreetly and confidentially. But safety is essential. “We don’t ever want anybody to put themselves in jeopardy. If something is going wrong, dial 911.” The tip line should be used for illegal activity in an ongoing investigation. For example, a tipster may call and say, “Vehicles were broken in at The Gym and we think we know who it is.”

Tipsters may also use the web-based form to send tips from an “Anonymous Tip Form” posted on the North Castle website (listed above). A photograph may be electronically attached to this form. After submitting the form, the sender receives an assigned number which can be used to follow up with more information in another submission. This option does not allow for a back-and-forth dialogue with the North Castle Police Department.

North Castle’s Town Board member Barry Reiter observed the system in use and says, “I’m impressed that it is totally anonymous and it is effective because it’s instantaneous where as a voice message has to be retrieved.”  If the voicemail is called in on a weekend, a detective may not receive the message immediately.

North Castle Police Department’s 24-hour call-in anonymous tips hotline system will still remain in effect to report any type of illegal or criminal activity in the Town of North Castle. Dial 273-2077 and detectives may pick up the incoming call if they are available, or callers may want to leave a message after hearing the voice mailbox’s message: “You have reached the North Castle Police Department’s anonymous information hotline. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911. Otherwise, please leave a message regarding information you feel the Police Department should know about. Please be as descriptive as possible. Thank you.”  A caller using this alternative may be concerned about their identity becoming known by their voice.


Police Chase NYC Motorcycle Thieves

On April 5, 2017, at about 10:08 p.m., the North Castle Police Department received a 911 call from a resident on Carpenter Way reporting the theft of a motorcycle. Caller reported he was attempting to sell his dirt bike to a party who fled with the bike without paying. Within moments of that 911 call, another person independently called the North Castle Police Department reporting a motorcycle being operated erratically on the roadway, at a high rate of speed, with no lights on and this motorcycle was being followed or chased by a minivan. Those vehicles were in the area of Labriola Court.

Officers responded simultaneously to both locations. Sergeant Sammann located a minivan matching description at Labriola Court and Old Route 22. Sergeant Sammann effected a traffic stop on Route 22 near Old Route 22. The minivan in question stopped briefly, but then drove away abruptly before he could approach. A pursuit ensued south on Route 22 for roughly four minutes when the minivan stopped on Route 22 in the area of the Rye Lake Bridge. Sergeant Sammann, Officers Costa and Carricatto engage in high-risk stop procedures and subsequently took five males into custody.

The stolen motorcycle was located inside the minivan. Members of the Westchester County Police Department responded to the scene of the stop to assist with apprehension.

The five males arrested in this case reside within New York City; Francisco Pereira, age 16, Robin Medina, age 20, Ernick Rodriguez, age 19, Christopher Cespedez, age 17, and Jonathan Serrano, age 17.

The charges include Grand Larceny in the fourth degree (E folony) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the fourth degree (E felony). The five males were released on bail an they are due to appear in North Castle Court on April 18, 2017 for arraignment.

Car Break-ins In Broad Daylight Again
Do Not Leave Valuables Showing in Your Car

On Monday February 16, 2015 the North Castle Police received a report of four vehicle break-ins that occurred at Business Park Drive, Armonk. All of the incidents included smashed automobile windows and the larceny of purses that were sitting in plain view inside the locked cars. Three of the break-ins were reported at 11:57 a.m. from the Equinox parking lot. One additional incident of the same modus operandi (MO) was reported nearby at 205 Business Park shortly afterward at 12:15 p.m.

On July 29, 2015 a similar incident was reported at La Quinta at 94 Business Park Drive when a complainant called at 8:55 AM to report a vandalized vehicle. A North Castle Police Officer responded and reported two vehicles at that location with broken windows.

In February, the targeted automobiles had valuable items that were visible from the outside, said Lt. Geoffrey Harisch. He said that when a thief sees something that appears to be valuable, they break the window, grab it and go. “It’s a matter of speed; hit and run.”

Lt. Harisch recommends that people do not leave valuable items in the car that can be viewed from the outside, such as a pocketbook or camera case. “That is what prompts these break-ins,” said Harisch. The broken window then gives them immediate access to the car lock. They open the door lock and grab the item.

“They are not going to break-in your car unless they are sure there is something of value in it. They are not going to waste their time searching through the car which takes precious seconds. It’s not how they operate.” Harisch said that if you leave something exposed, the chances are your car is going to be broken into. If you put everything away, and they don’t see anything of value, these guys won’t attempt a break-in.

The four reported larcenies in February remain under investigation by the North Castle Police. In the meantime, Club Fit health club in Briarcliff Manor reported three similar larcenies on Sunday. The cars were broken into the same way, and the Village of Ossining’s Detective Lt. William Sullivan believes it may very well be the same group of thieves. Circumstantially speaking, Harisch said if the MO is the same, it’s safe to say that the Armonk and Briarcliff Manor incidents are connected. Sullivan said that people should secure their personal belongings out of public view or in a gym locker. The Ossining PD has contacted health clubs in the area to advise them of the break-ins.

Based on experience, Harisch said this could involve a team of a driver and two other people who are dropped off. “They see the target, break in, steal it and go. One guy breaks the window. The other guy steals the stuff.” They quickly repeat the same scenario, and then hop in the car with the driver and take off. Or, there could be only two people: one breaks in and steals the item while the driver waits and then picks him up. People who are doing this in broad daylight are most likely professionals.

They check several cars at a time, said Harisch. They break one window, perhaps with the blunt force of a hammer, but it’s hard to determine what they used because when car windows are smashed, they shatter into small pieces.

If items are stolen from your car, Harisch recommends that you report it immediately. Typically within the first hour, the thief will try to use the credit cards or something else that was stolen. There may be a surveillance camera at a bank where they can capture the thief’s activity.

The thieves might be so savvy that they case the parking lot for cameras and work around them. But Harisch said people who do this are usually brazen and do it often. They know what they are looking for, smash the windows, and then they are gone.

Gym parking lots are targets of thieves all over the country. Many break-ins have been reported in gym parking lots because people tend leave their valuables locked in the car. Monday’s larceny reports were not the first time car break-ins have been reported at the gym or in Armonk.

Monday’s incidents could be connected to larcenies that occurred years ago when there were a stream of break-ins at the same location. Property owner Michael Fareri said that he will discuss with his tenant what can be done to deter this from happening again in the future. But he added, “People have to be more vigilant to protect their valuables.” While installing surveillance cameras is something they need to consider, he said, in troubled economic times, these things happen.

If surveillance cameras are installed properly, this could deter professional thieves or at least provide video surveillance to assist with police investigations.