Crime

Boiceville bank robbed

The Boiceville branch of Community Bank, at 4141 Route 28, was robbed on Wednesday morning, according to a report from the Daily Freeman

The bank -- formerly a branch of the Wilber National Bank, a company that was acquired by Community Bank in 2010 -- is across the street from the Onteora Middle and High School, and the Bennett Elementary School. As of around 12:15 p.m., the buildings were on lockout, along with the Phoenicia Elementary School.

During a lockout, school continues inside the building as usual, but all doors are locked, and no one is allowed to enter the school building until authorities give an "all clear" signal to the school.  Read more

Devil-mask-wearing church burglar does $18,000 in damage to steal $200

You can't make this stuff up: Police say two men, one wearing a devil mask, robbed a Mormon church in the Schoharie County town of Esperance last month, damaging the church to the tune of $18,000 in the process. 

On Monday, state police announced the recent felony burglary arrests of 26-year-old Justin Pethick and 18-year-old Roger Graham, both from the Esperance hamlet of Central Bridge. Police say that on Jan. 27, the pair broke into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Central Bridge, and proceeded to damage doors, cabinets and locking mechanisms while looking for things to steal. Pethick was wearing a devil mask to conceal his identity, police said. 

The alleged burglars didn't find much for their trouble, police said: $160 and two backpacks were stolen from Boy Scout Troop 46, which keeps a storage room at the church, and $40 was taken from the church's Family History Center.   Read more

Five arrested on drug and weapons charges in Ulster County

Complaints of constant drug sales from a Marbletown home sparked an investigation that led to the arrest of five people on Friday, the Ulster County Sheriff's Office reports

On Friday, Feb. 21, members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) executed a search warrant at 126 Vly Atwood Road in Stone Ridge, in the town of Marbletown. In the search, police found about a half-ounce of cocaine, ecstasy tablets, MDMA powder (also known as "Molly"), ketamine powder ("Special K," a controlled sedative), marijuana, drug packaging material, scales with cocaine residue on them, "cutting agents" used to dilute drugs, cutting paraphernalia and other drug paraphernalia. Police also seized cash, three rifles, two shotguns and a large amount of ammunition.   Read more

Alleged Delhi Express Mart burglar flees -- but not far

A Hobart man who allegedly robbed the Express Mart convenience store in Delhi in the wee hours of Friday morning didn't get too far from the scene of the crime before his arrest. 

At 4:12 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, a man stole cash from the register at the Express Mart, at the corner of Kingston and Main Streets in the village, and then fled the scene in a vehicle. He was unarmed, police said.

"He went to purchase an item. When [the cashier] opened the register, he pushed her out of the way, took the cash and ran off," said Delhi Village Police Chief Michael Mills. 

As Delhi police were responding to a 911 call, state troopers from the Margaretville station heard the incident over the radio and began patrolling for the suspect's vehicle. At 4:36 a.m., the troopers stopped a vehicle traveling on County Road 18 in the town of Stamford, and arrested the driver: 41-year-old Jamel Wilson of Hobart.

The proceeds from the burglary were in the vehicle. Police say Wilson was found to be under the influence of a controlled substance.  Read more

Heroin found in Fallsburg elementary school

Seven faculty members at Fallsburg's Benjamin Cosor Elementary School are being investigated after heroin and needles were found in a faculty men's room, the Times Herald-Record reports

According to Fallsburg police, drugs were found in the same bathroom on two separate occasions: On Friday, Dec. 20, heroin and several needles were found. More recently, on Feb. 11, a school staff member found a heroin baggie. 

Police have identified six teachers, an aide, and an occupational therapist who used the faculty men's room before the Feb. 11 discovery. The occupational therapist gave police a urine sample, but the other seven faculty members under investigation have hired lawyers and are not voluntarily cooperating with the investigation, Fallsburg police chief Simmie Williams told the Times Herald-Record:  Read more

Three locals face felony drug charges after Thruway stop

Two Margaretville residents and a Saugerties man face felony drug charges, after a search by a state police K-9 turned up almost 700 envelopes of heroin in the car they were traveling in.

On Sunday, Feb. 16 around 11:30 p.m., state police patrolling the New York State Thruway in the Rockland County town of Clarkstown pulled over a 1998 Dodge Stratus for vehicle and traffic infractions, according to a police news release. After the traffic stop, "Marty," a police K-9, alerted troopers to heroin hidden in a dashboard panel and the center console of the car. Troopers found 695 glassine envelopes of heroin, stamped with the brand "5 Star," and syringes. 

Arrested were 36-year-old Joshua Levine and 31-year-old Debra Osborne, both of Margaretville, and 41-year-old Charles Hall of Saugerties. All three face charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony, and possession of a hypodermic instrument, a class A misdemeanor. Levine, who was driving the car, was also charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.  Read more

DEP cop says Reese told him: "I shot Aron twice"

David Reese, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of DEP employee Aron Thomas, admitted to the act after the crime, a DEP police officer told a Kingston court judge on Monday.

At a preliminary hearing in Kingston city court on Monday, Feb. 10, Lieutenant Justin Kight of the DEP Police gave testimony about the events that unfolded on the morning of Monday, Feb. 3 at the DEP's Kingston office.

Reporter James Nani of the Times Herald-Record has an account of Kight's testimony, in which Kight told the courtroom that immediately after the shooting, Reese knocked on his door and allowed him to take a Glock pistol from Reese's jacket pocket.

Kight testified that as he was escorting Reese out of the building, Reese admitted to shooting Thomas, and alluded to some ongoing workplace dispute:

Kight said Reese told him "you know Aron's been stalking me," that "I shot Aron twice" and "you know they've been breaking into my office."  Read more

"Operation Angry Birds": Cockfighting ring busted in Ulster County

Above: Two roosters square off at a cockfight in Andhra Pradesh, India. Photo by Flickr user Vijay Chennupati; posted under Creative Commons license

About 3,000 roosters were seized from a Plattekill farm on Sunday, as part of what Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling "the largest cockfighting takedown in New York State history." 

The farm was breeding roosters for cockfights at a venue in Queens, with help from a Brooklyn pet shop, according to a press release from Schneiderman's office. Raids were carried out and arrests made at all three locations on Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Read more

Reese surrendered to DEP cop, sources say

The man charged with the recent shooting death of Aron Thomas turned himself in voluntarily to a DEP police officer before he was arrested, sources have told the Watershed Post. 

At 6:46 a.m. on Monday, police say, 53-year-old David Reese of Gilboa shot and killed a co-worker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 33-year-old Aron Thomas of Olivebridge. 

Kingston city police announced that they had arrested Reese, and recovered a handgun, within hours of the shooting. Few details about the shooting have been released, and police have not offered a possible motive.

But according to sources close to the incident, immediately after the shooting, Reese surrendered to another fellow DEP co-worker, an officer with the DEP Police who was also at work in the Kingston building. Reese also handed over his gun to the officer, sources said.   Read more

Fund set up for family of shooting victim Aron Thomas

Above: A photo of Aron Thomas posted on a GoFundMe page dedicated to a fund drive for his wife and children. Photo used with permission.

A fund has been started to benefit the wife and two young children of Aron Thomas, a 33-year-old Olivebridge man who was shot and killed at the Kingston office of the New York City DEP on Monday. 

One of Thomas's DEP coworkers, 53-year-old David Reese of Gilboa, was arrested after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder.

Thomas leaves behind his wife, Susan Thomas, and two children, a two-year-old boy and a girl just six weeks old. On Tuesday, Aron's sister, Kylene Thomas, started an online fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to help the family in the wake of Thomas's death. As of late Tuesday morning, the fund had raised about $1,600 of a $50,000 goal.

Kylene writes:  Read more


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