The three men who are believed to have posed as police officers to rob $5,000 from a local family at gunpoint have been arrested, Hastings police said Monday.
Richard Vale, 46, Carlos Burgos, 45, and Eugene Lorino, 61, all of the Bronx, were each charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, both felonies, on May 9.
The three man are accused of posing as police officers on Jan. 10 to rob an apartment at 22 Main St., holding the four occupants — a couple and the man's father and wife's mother — at gunpoint, while demanding money.
After a longterm investigation, Hastings detectives Dennis Dzubak and Brian Pietropaolo in conjunction with the New York City Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney's Office, the county's Organized Crime Criminal Enterprise Bureau, the Westchester County Criminal Intelligence Center and the Westchester County Police Identification Unit uncovered the information that eventually led to the three arrests.
"Detectives spent hundreds if not thousands of hours screening phone calls made in the vicinity of the incident in an attempt to identify the calls made by the victims from their home," said Hastings Police Chief David Bloomer.
According to Bloomer, because of news coverage of the event, NYPD reached out to the local department to assist with the investigation. The city has a unit dedicated solely to tracking down criminals who pose as police officers. Fifteen of Hastings' 20 officers aided in the arrests of the three men — who all have previous criminal records — transporting them back to Hastings, where they were arraigned before Judge Joseph DiSalvo on the same day.
All three suspects were sent to the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla. Lorino had been arrested more than 70 times prior to this arrest, Vale more than 10 and Burgos more than 5 times.
"This is still an active investigation," Bloomer said.
More charges may be made against these suspects and more suspects may be identified.
As they suggested in the past, police said this was clearly a targeted crime.
"We know of a relation between one of the suspects and one of the victims," Bloomer said. "This was not a random act. The suspects had reason to believe that there was money in that specific apartment."
Though residents may have been at risk when the armed suspects fled, Bloomer said that: "It should be a relief to homeowners that these three suspects have been taken into custody and that the home was specifically picked."