HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Hastings police announced Monday morning the arrest of three Bronx men who they said impersonated police officers during a home invasion on Main Street Jan. 10.
Hastings police arrested 46-year-old Richard Vale, 44-year-old Carlos Burgos and 61-year-old Eugene Lorino at three different homes in the Bronx on May 9. Hastings police said the arrests were announced Monday because the investigation is still ongoing.
All three were charged with first degree robbery and first degree burglary, which are both class B felonies.
Hastings police said all three have extensive criminal backgrounds. Lorino was arrested more than 70 times since 1980, Vale more than 10 times since 1982 and Burgos more than five times since 1995, police said.
Hastings Chief of Police David Bloomer said one of the suspects may have known the victim, but would not reveal any additional information.
“There was a relationship between one of the suspects and one of the victims that would have led the suspect to believe there was cash in the home,” Bloomer said. “This was clearly not random.”
Vale and Burgos were arrested at their homes on May 9 at 8:30 a.m. and Lorino was arrested later that evening at his home. Vale and Burgos were arraigned in Hastings Village Court the night of May 9 and remanded to the Westchester County Jail. Lorino was arraigned on the night of May 10 and then remanded to the Westchester County Jail.
Bloomer said Hastings detectives worked with the district attorney’s office to track phone calls made from the apartment by the suspects during the robbery, which helped lead to the identification of the three men.
“Detectives spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours going over phone records made in that area,” Bloomer said.
The three suspects allegedly posed as police officers to gain entry to an apartment on Main Street owned by a local business owner just before 9 a.m. on Jan. 10. Police said at least two of the suspects wore badges on their jackets and all three had handguns that they displayed. Police said the suspects demanded money from the homeowner and attempted to remove a safe that was later left at the bottom of the stairs and was unopened. The four victims, which included the man, his father, his wife and her mother, were all tied up during the robbery. Police said the suspects left the home with approximately $5,000 in cash.
Hastings detectives began an investigation and were contacted by members of the New York City Police Department who offered their assistance. Bloomer said the NYPD was an invaluable resource and has a specialized unit that deals with suspects that pose as police officers.
Hastings detectives worked with the NYPD, investigators from the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, the Organized Crime Criminal Enterprise Bureau, the Westchester County Intelligence Center and the Westchester County Police Identification Unit during the investigation.
Hastings police said the suspects face a variety of additional charges that the district attorney’s office is currently working on. Hastings police said the investigation should be considered a very active investigation.
“This should clearly be a relief to a lot of businesses and homeowners,” Bloomer said. “These people were specifically picked, this was not random.”