Email Sent to Area Residents About Reported Southeast Home Invasions Contained Bogus Information

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that information contained in an email message sent to area residents has been confirmed as false.

Recently an email was circulated and received by several Southeast residents informing recipients that the sender heard of “two more break-ins and rapes” occurring in the Gage Road area of the town. The information contained in the email prompted many to call the Sheriff’s Office and State Police seeking information regarding these purported incidents.

A check with area law enforcement agencies revealed that there were no known recent burglaries or sexual assaults reported at or near Gage Road.

Investigator John Alfano of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation was assigned to trace the origin of the email and determine its authenticity. Investigator Alfano located the writer, a woman residing in New Fairfield, Connecticut. Upon being interviewed, she explained that she obtained the information from friends, who apparently received the information fourth or fifth hand from others. Although she did not check with authorities as to the validity of the information contained in her email, the sender believed that its contents were true and correct. The author’s apparent motivation was to inform area residents to be wary of the criminal activity and not to disseminate false information or cause unnecessary panic to others.

“Although in this case, the details in this email were bogus, and this is a simple case of ‘telephone, ’ there have been disturbing burglaries reported at jurisdictions surrounding Putnam County, ” said Sheriff Smith.

“Recently members of the Connecticut State Police were summoned to a New Fairfield home to investigate a reported home invasion in which an occupant was assaulted. On September 11th, the Town of East Fishkill Police Department investigated a complaint of a man unlawfully entering a Dutchess County dwelling while armed with a knife. The intruder in that case demanded money and assaulted the resident. We must always stay vigilant and take added precautions to stay safe. Keep doors to our homes and vehicles locked and always report suspicious people, vehicles or activity to local police or the Sheriff’s Office, ” said the Sheriff.

After conducting a thorough investigation, it was determined that there was no apparent violation of law. Therefore this matter is considered closed.