Word to the Wise  |  April 23, 2008

The recent ransacking and robbery at 28 Pepperidge Road is a despicable and disheartening act. Our Village’s condolences go out to the McFaddens, and especially to Robin who arrived home alone to find their house in shambles and her jewelry missing. Silver and firearms were also reportedly taken.

As much as we lament this shocking intrusion, David McFadden’s relentless appeal for releasing a Police Report does not seem appropriate. If “rapid-disclosure” might, in any way, hamper a police investigation, then restraint trumps publicity.

Our community is small enough that nearly everyone became aware of the burglary within a few days. Although releasing the Police Report is within our Mayor’s purview, doing so could also jeopardize this case, especially if it involves a minor, complicity or privacy rights. The McFaddens are clearly free to circulate their collected facts and observations. Anything beyond that, such as legal strategy, suspects, valuation etc. would seem best kept confidential until deemed public by the Village’s attorney and Police Dept.

Sgt. Ken Sanford, in his monthly public address of 4/16/08, announced that an arrest had been made and the suspect incarcerated. As acting Chief, he prudently declined to release a name or address for the accused, and mentioned only that the suspect had been living in Tuxedo Park. Officer Jim Ascione was heralded with cracking this case.

That same evening, Sgt. Sanford and ex-Chief Wm. Bortnowski spoke at some length about the realities of 21st century life. Addressing our Board of Trustees and those attending the April meeting, Sanford and Bortnowski stressed the importance of locking your home, especially when leaving for an extended period. They also emphasized removing car keys and other simple measures to help dissuade would-be thieves.

The two suggested, and we believe rightly, that many of us have become numbed to the harsh realties of crime in America. Conditions have, for years, been so safe and secure that we may have let our collective guard down. Locking your house and your car can be an effective deterrent, at least to a non-professional criminal.

By implication, it was made clear that locking firearms away from children, adolescents and intruders is also a significant defense against gun theft and misuse. For those storing firearms within their homes, NRA’s website nrahg.org/safety/ provides helpful information on securing and safeguarding weapons from the unauthorized.

TPFYI confers its sympathies to the McFaddens for their ordeal, and extends praise to Officer Jim Ascione and the VTP Police Dept. for their swift suspect apprehension.

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