Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cops Recharge Battery Theft Caper

Look into Edenwald Man for Highway Battery Thefts Throughout Region
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, December 26- Cops in several neighboring jurisdictions are looking at a suspect captured in Westchester regarding the theft of $60,000 worth of heavy-duty car batteries-- used to light road signs along local parkways.
Westchester County police recently announced the arrest of Angel Velez, 26, of Baychester Avenue, who was charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, possession of stolen property and criminal mischief, after Velez allegedly unhooked hundreds of batteries, leaving needed roadway warning signs-- dark.
Velez was arrested on December 4, and held to answer charges regarding thefts of more than 300 batteries in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon and Greenburgh, N.Y.
The New York State Police and the NYPD are currently investigating Velez for similar thefts in Rockland and Orange Counties, as well as in the Bronx.
The thefts have taken place along the Hutchinson River Parkway, Saw Mill Parkway, Bronx River Parkway. the Cross County Parkway and the New York State Thruway over the last six-months.
Even a secured New York State Department of Transportation Yard was the site of at least one theft.
Investigators from the Westchester County Police Department's General Investigations Unit who cracked the case, believe Velez pocketed some $20,000, selling the stolen batteries at recycling centers.
The investigation began after several complaints from the Westchester Department of Public Works and the Westchester Department of Transportation, who reported the initial thefts. 
Westchester Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth was quoted by, stating, "These battery thefts knocked many Variable Message Signs out of service, preventing messages from being displayed and posing a threat to the safety of the motoring public."
This reporter could not find anyone in the Edenwald Houses that even knew Velez. 
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