State Police mount 2-county effort to slow alleged car thief

HILLSDALE—State Police arrested Jordan M. Richards, 32, of Antioch, California, for second degree criminal possession of stolen property, August 25.

State Police received a report about a gray Mercedes-Benz stolen in New York City that was traveling northbound on State Route 22 in the Town of Pawling, Dutchess County, August 23 at 7:05 p.m.

Troopers on patrol located the vehicle on State Route 22 in the Town of Dover and a traffic stop was attempted. The vehicle failed to comply, and a pursuit ensued.

The pursuit proceeded north into the Town of Amenia and then northeast into Columbia County through Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale.

A “stinger” or spike strip, a device used to impede or stop vehicles by puncturing their tires, was deployed causing the Mercedes to come to a halt in Hillsdale. Mr. Richards fled on foot and troopers were unable to locate him.

Residents in the vicinity on Route 22, north of the Route 23 traffic light, report a helicopter with a search light was used in the search.

The following day, August 24, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received a trespassing complaint, found Mr. Richards and turned him over to State Police, who took him into custody.

He was subsequently charged with two counts of false personation in Hillsdale at 7:15 p.m. and issued appearance tickets. Mr. Richards was arraigned in Dover Court and was due to reappear at a later date. He was sent to the Dutchess County Jail without bail.


Columbia 911 dispatched Ancram firefighters, the Community Rescue Squad and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to the scene of a motorcycle versus deer accident at 9687 Route 82, August 28 at 6:03 p.m.

A 2005 motorcycle was traveling southwest on Route 82 when a deer ran into the roadway in front of it. The motorcycle struck the deer, the driver was thrown off and landed on the shoulder of the road.

The operator of the motorcycle was Jesse Croft, 44, of Poughkeepsie. The Community Rescue Squad took Mr. Croft to Vassar Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The motorcycle sustained minor damage and was towed from the scene. Deputy Daniel Stang investigated. Ancram firefighters assisted and were still at the scene as of 6:48 p.m.

To contact Diane Valden email

‘Have a Sober Plan’ this Labor Day weekend

HUDSON—Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell recently announced that Columbia County police agencies and STOP-DWI coordinators will participate in special efforts to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign will start September 2 and will end September 5. Labor Day / End of Summer is one of the busiest travel times of the year and marks the official end of summer. State Police, Sheriff’s deputies, municipal law enforcement agencies and local STOP-DWI programs will collaborate across the state and will be out in force in this coordinated effort to reduce the number of impaired driving-related injuries and deaths.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one person every 45 minutes. In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths—a 14% increase from 2019. These deaths were all preventable, according to a STOP-DWI press release.

The STOP-DWI Labor Day / End of Summer High Visibility Engagement Campaign is one of many statewide initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign also targets Memorial Day, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Holiday Season, Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.

Highly-visible, highly-publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

Everyone can help to make a difference by having a “Sober Plan.” Download the mobile app, “Have a Plan” and always be able to find a safe ride home Impaired driving is completely preventable—all it takes is a little planning, the release said.

Police issue 25,000+ tickets during ‘Speed Week’

LIVINGSTON—State Police recently announced that troopers issued 25,199 total traffic tickets during the special “Speed Week” traffic enforcement campaign.

“Speed Week,” which was conducted from August 15 to 21, targeted speeding, and other unsafe driving behaviors, including distracted driving and violations of the Move Over Law.

Troopers issued 14,008 tickets for speeding, 531 for distracted driving, 476 for Move Over law violations, and arrested 214 people for drunk and impaired driving. State Police also responded to 206 personal injury crashes, including five fatal crashes.

During the August 2021 Speed Week detail, State Police issued 32,922 total tickets, including 18,358 for speeding. In 2021, “Speed Week” ran for a total of 9 days opposed to 7 days in 2022 and 518 tickets were issued per day in 2021 compared to 631 tickets issued per day in 2022.

As part of this enforcement detail, troopers targeted speeding and aggressive drivers across the state. Troopers watched for impaired and distracted drivers, vehicle occupants who were not properly buckled up, and drivers who violated the Move Over law, which requires motorists to exercise extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped in or on the side of the road.

The State Police supplemented regular patrols statewide, including the use of Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) patrol vehicles to better locate drivers talking or texting on handheld devices. These unmarked vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Here are the results of the campaign, broken down for Troop K in the lower Hudson Valley: 2,495 speeding tickets, 32 DWI arrests, 23 distracted driving tickets, 99 child restraint/seat belt tickets and 53 move over tickets.

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