–STOLEN VEHICLES, GUNS, OTHER PROPERTY RECOVERED–
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that three suspects have been arrested in connection with a string of thefts in the Town of Putnam Valley. The arrests followed a manhunt in a wooded area of the town on Saturday, October 28th. Stolen vehicles and guns were recovered in the case.
Events started to unfold early on Saturday morning, as the Sheriff’s Office began receiving multiple telephone calls from residents in the Wildwood Knolls neighborhood in Putnam Valley. Several callers reported that their vehicles, parked in their driveways, had been broken into sometime during the overnight hours. One victim reported that a detached garage on an Evergreen Way property was broken into and two motorcycles had been stolen. Another resident reported that his loaded handgun had been stolen from his vehicle.
Sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to the area and began to interview victims and canvass the neighborhood. At about 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, one of the larceny victims noticed two males riding around the neighborhood on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and recognized them as suspects in the thefts. The victim called 911 and followed the two males in his vehicle.
The two suspects on the ATV attempted to elude the following vehicle and the two vehicles collided. The suspects jumped off the ATV and a brief confrontation ensued between them and the victim before the suspects ran off into a wooded area.
A search for the suspects ensued, involving about a dozen sheriff’s deputies and Investigators, a K-9 unit and a New York State Police helicopter. Authorities, working with the Putnam County 911 Center, issued a mass telephone call to residents in the area alerting them about the search.
Sheriff’s investigators, through witness interviews and security camera video recordings, were able to identify the at-large suspects. An investigator called the mobile telephone of one of the suspects and was able to persuade him and his accomplice to come out of the woods and surrender to authorities. The pair emerged from the woods along Tinker Hill Road and were taken into custody. The stolen handgun and ammunition were later recovered from the woods, and the two stolen motorcycles were also located.
The two suspects who had fled into the woods were identified as Mr. David Lussier, aged 17, of 150 Oscawana Lake Road in Putnam Valley, and Mr. Owen McDonald, aged 16, of 9 Meyer Drive in Putnam Valley.
Mr. Lussier was charged with grand larceny in the third and fourth degrees and with criminal possession of stolen property in the third and fourth degrees, all felonies. Mr. McDonald was charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree and with two separate counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, all felonies.
As the investigation went on, a third suspect was discovered to be in possession of other stolen property, including a motorcycle which had not yet been reported stolen and a rifle that had been reported stolen from a car in the Floridan Estates subdivision a few weeks ago. The third suspect, who is a 15-year-old male, was taken into custody and charged with two separate counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, felonies. The stolen motorcycle and rifle were both recovered.
Investigators obtained a judicial search warrant and searched the residence of one of the suspects. In that search, investigators recovered numerous items of property that had been reported stolen from vehicle break-ins in the area over the last several months.
Messrs. Lussier and McDonald were arraigned before Putnam Valley Town Justice Gina Capone and they were both remanded to the county jail in lieu of $2,500.00 cash bail or $5,000.00 bail bond each. The 15-year-old was released to his mother, to await action in Family Court.