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Hastings PD: 3 Accused Of Posing As Cops In January Armed Robbery

Bronx men charged with stealing $5,000 at gunpoint.

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."

J.K.M. May 21, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Kudos to Chief Bloomer, det. Pietropaolo and the Hastings p.d.. It is a small comfort in one sense that the victims were targeted. What is not a comfort to myself and many others in Hastings, are village officials behaving as if it's all status quo in Hastings. What is not comforting is village official's focus on parks, buffer zones, parades and celebrations (ie Friday Night Live which is doing nothing for village merchants) when attention should be paid to increasing our police presence. What is going on in this country applies to Hastings, we are not immune. What is not comforting is a Mayor who despite all evidence, continues pursuits of parks and celebrations, in denial of the reality facing this country, which includes Hastings, there's 13 empty store fronts in Hastings! People are increasingly desperate, the most desperate of these need not live in Hastings in order to continue their 'armed freelance' here. Hastings does not need more of the Mayor's sappy, self congratulatory village messages (one sure to follow upon this arrest). Instead of nodding in accordance with pursuits of another village park, and the majority of foolishness which feed him and the egos of the elected, it is time Mayor Swiderski start acting like a Mayor. He was not elected to dream and make proclamations. He was elected to maintain this village and protect it's residents. What do you say, you begin to fulfill your charge Mayor. I am not comfortable with ARMED ROBBERY.
Gina May 22, 2012 at 02:38 PM
As a resident of Hastings, I am not comfortable with Armed Robbery either, however, what would you want the Mayor to do? Hire more police officers? I don't see how that would help. I understand your complaint and frustration because I feel that way too, but what is the answer? Having the Mayor stop sending emails and solely blaming him for NOT protecting Hastings' residents isn't the answer...how do YOU propose we fix this problem? How do we keep the thugs out of Hastings?
Maryanne May 22, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Gina, I don't think anyone is suggesting the Mayor is responsible for all crime which occurs in Hastings, s___ happens. However when you have numerous armed robberies and violent crimes in the village, it's time that the police presence is increased. The Chief does a great job with what he has, but there used to be an officer in the village all the time and that makes a difference. Will it stop all crime, of course not, but it is a deterrent. The biggest issue for me is a real sense of community in the village. It's gone. I'm not talking about a certain group on a certain community, but a collective. The village has lost it's identity. I agree with J.K.M's comments, with what is going on today, putting out a message that people are over reacting to this is misjudging what we're dealing with. I don't believe Mr. Swiderski is someone who is going to bring this village together. He seems to me to be a nice guy, but the wrong person for what is needed.
Maryanne May 22, 2012 at 08:53 PM
There is a time for addressing village cosmetics, we have enough parks and events, we need more police officers and a more hands on mindset, with a voice that is listened to. Preparation and attention need to be paid, it's going to be a very hot summer.
Annie Oakley May 27, 2012 at 05:04 PM
We DO NOT need more police officers. America is enough of a police state as it is. The Mayor is trying to keep Hastings a small town since people pay good money to live here, not another place to live in fear. The crime here is typically isolated and extremely minor in comparison with NYC. We don't need more cops. We need our chief to motivate the existing officers to get off their butts and actually do foot patrols instead of driving around town with blinders on. Their job is to protect Hastings which involves some vigilance on their part, not to get a pat on their back for doing a tiny fraction of what NYPD does everyday.
answerer May 29, 2012 at 01:50 AM
There are empty store fronts in the Village because nobody wants to have anything but a mom and pop business in the village and they cant afford the taxes. Something should have been put on that waterfront years ago to help with the taxes for the residents in the village but it was voted down but I bet a park will go there (unnecessary) How about the shoprite on saw mill river road .... residents didnt want it because of traffic????? Crime happens every place and its not village officials that are only focusing on parks.. its a catch 22 in the village the taxes are too high, but we dont want to bring in any company that would offset and help to lower our taxes... our view is sooo important? yes its nice to have a good view but how many houses are for sale anyone remember the developer who wanted to develop the waterfront years ago? whatever happened with that ... we live in the year 2012 not in the year 1972 crimes happen use common sense .. lock your car doors and doors at home people are desperate times change and people need to realize that. you also have to have a happy medium to have its "identity" you can have the "big store" and no that a&p doesn't count.
wakeupwhitepeople May 29, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Annie, I agree with you the US has become a police state. Though, trying to keep the town small has nothing to do with having enough police. The issue in Hastings is the Mayor has no interest in diversity which is what made Hastings great. He'll give anything lip service, but he is a corporate suit interested only in making the money in Hastings happy. With Swiderski as Mayor, residents are assured of one thing. Watching as their vilalge is turned into a faceless surburan community which stands for nothing. Take a look at the Uniontown scoreboard, if you have any questions.

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