Friday, Jul 12th

Commuters in Neighboring Towns Robbed at Gunpoint

metronorthnightAs Scarsdale residents and police deal with the recent spate of break-ins, residents in neighboring towns such as Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Pelham and Harrison are contending with an even more freighting crime-wave; armed robbery.

Since mid-January there has been a rash of gun-point holdups in neighboring towns. Often times the victim is a commuter walking home from the train station at night when the perpetrator approaches. There have been six incidents since mid-January including two last week.

On February 9th there were two separate incidents, one in the Village of Mamaroneck and another in Harrison. In both cases, a commuter was walking home from the train station and was approached from behind by an assailant with a handgun and ordered to the ground. The victims were robbed of personal possessions including money and cell phones. According to one report, the Harrison commuter was hit on the head during the robbery. In that case, the victim was taken to White Plains Hospital for treatment.

Similar incidents took place on January 12th and January 31 in Pelham and on January 17th in Mamaroneck.

In nearby New Rochelle on January 29th two females, one a student at Iona, were also held up at gunpoint and robbed of their possessions after entering a building.

The suspect’s description is nearly identical in all cases: An African American male between 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet in height, 175 to 200 pounds, medium build. He is usually wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, jeans and a mask or a light colored bandana covering his face, though in one instance, the suspect’s height was estimated to be closer to 5 foot 7. Both men and women have been targeted in these robberies

“Victims are usually approached from behind while travelling on local roads. We see a similarity in all of the cases leading us to believe that is the same person or persons in all cases,” according to Lt. Robert Koziak of the Mamaroneck Police Department.

Koziak says that the police departments in the towns that have been hit have been coordinating with one another and have stepped up patrols. When asked if there have been any leads or breaks in the case, Koziak merely said that the investigation is ongoing.

Back in Scarsdale, when asked about these crimes, Detective Lt. Thomas Altizio responded that while “the stations along the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven train lines are patrolled by the MTA Police Department. (Scarsdale) has an officer assigned specifically to the downtown village area through the early evening and always have patrol cars assigned to make frequent checks on the area each shift.”

Altizio reminds commuters, and residents in general that people walking home should follow standard safety practices; People should “try to walk with someone and go to the nearest home or business if they feel they are being followed. People should always immediately report suspicious person or activities to their local police.”

New York State Crime Stoppers is offering a $2500 cash reward to anyone who has information that directly leads to the arrest and convictions of the robber or robbers in these attacks. People should call 866-313-TIPS if they any information that can lead to an arrest.

gellerr150Jen is a freelance journalist who has covered the economy and markets for over a decade at a major financial news outlet. She lives in Scarsdale with her husband and 2 children. Jen has yet to bake a successful batch of cookies.