Missing man found by DEC officer

CHATHAM—State Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Jeffrey Cox found a missing man, April 3.

ECO Cox responded to the Town of Chatham to assist the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office with a reported missing elderly man.

The man took a walk with his dog and after an hour and a half, the dog came back alone, prompting the man’s wife to call 911, according to a press release from the DEC.

ECO Cox began walking trails in the back of the missing man’s property and located him on a logging road through the woods. The man had tripped over a log and was unable to get back up. When ECO Cox found the man, he was cold and wet, but in good spirits. Several Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers arrived and helped carry the missing man out of the woods. The Chatham Rescue Squad took the man to a hospital for observation.

Columbia County

State Police report catalytic converter theft is on the rise in Columbia County.

State Police in Livingston are investigating numerous complaints of stolen catalytic converters from vehicles throughout the Columbia County area, according to an April 14 press release.

These crimes are being committed at all hours of the day. Vehicles that are parked close to roadways or have high valued catalytic converters are more likely to be targeted. The State Police strongly encourage vehicle owners to always lock their vehicles and park in well-lit conspicuous locations. Exterior sensor lighting, driveway alarms, and video surveillance systems may also help prevent a vehicle from being targeted or aid the criminal investigation.

Community members can further assist in preventing these crimes by remaining vigilant and reporting any signs of suspicious activity immediately to local law enforcement, whether it be a person, vehicle or noise.

For information related to a previously reported crime contact SP Livingston Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 518-851-2893. To report a past crime, contact the State Police at 845-677-7300. For an emergency response call 911.

To contact Diane Valden email

Burglars sentenced to prison time

HUDSON—Columbia County Court Judge Jonathan Nichols sentenced Jonathan Barham and Omar Hassan to three-and-a-half to seven years in state prison. The men were convicted of third degree burglary, according to an April 14 press release from District Attorney Paul Czajka.

Judge Nichols also ordered the defendants to pay $19,214 in restitution.

State Police Trooper John Moore arrested Mr. Barham, 34, of Cortlandt Manor, and Mr. Hassan, 30, of Deer Park, a day after the burglary in 2020.

Using a sledge hammer, the men broke into the Citgo gas station on Rigor Hill Road in Austerlitz at 7:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2020, to steal cigarettes, lottery tickets and money from an ATM.

The jury reached its verdict November 12, 2021 after four hours of deliberation.

The two are suspects in other burglaries reported up and down the east coast. Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty prosecuted the case.

“Thanks to Trooper John Moore’s hard work and diligence, we were successful in prosecuting this case as well as solving other numerous burglaries in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland,” DCADA Carty said.

John Hillman, Esq., represents Mr. Barham and Justin deArmas, Esq., represents Mr. Hassan.

Fire companies open doors for RecruitNY

MELLENVILLE—Mellenville Volunteer Fire Company, 33 County Route 9, will host its Recruit NY Day along with a Child Car Seat Safety check, April 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office technicians will be on hand to inspect child car seats to make sure it is attached in the proper way. Child restraint systems may be a child safety seat, harness, vest or booster seat, these restraint systems are determined by the child’s size and weight. The public is invited to take advantage of this special service and contact their friends. Firefighters know what can happen when people are involved in a car crash without having their child in a proper car seat, or one that is not installed properly.

Mellenville Firefighters along with fire companies across the state and county are hosting their recruitment day with an open house. Members will be there to answer questions and invite visitors to become volunteer firefighters. Mellenville VFC will its celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2025.

Volunteer fire departments across the state open their doors Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 as part of the 13th annual RecruitNY weekend. RecruitNY is a signature initiative designed to help increase membership in local volunteer fire departments. The number of volunteer firefighters has decreased significantly in recent years due to a variety of factors.

This year celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY). FASNY has worked hard throughout its history to develop and implement events to assist New York’s 1,700-plus volunteer fire departments to recruit new volunteers. Volunteer firefighters will also be on hand to discuss the requirements and rewards of joining. All are welcome and encouraged to attend, including families with children.

Individuals looking to find out if their fire department is participating in RecruitNY can visit http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/. For specific information, contact your local volunteer fire department via a non-emergency phone number or its website.

For more information visit www.fasny.com.

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