Man apparently picks wrong house to rob

Santiago Contreras

March 10, 2010 5:14:04 AM PST
The Middletown Police Department, in conjunction with state police, have arrested a Middletown man in connection with a daytime attempted home invasion robbery. Police say 20-year-old Santiago Contreras picked the wrong house to try his scam, knocking on a door of a Sunnyside Avenue residence at approximately 9:18 a.m. Tuesday. He allegedly told the resident, the Middletown police chief, that he was an FBI agent and quickly flashed a resident alien card that he indicated was his identification.

Authorities say Contreras also held a sheet of paper that he claimed was a search warrant, authorizing him to search the premises.

The police chief became immediately suspicious and requested to see the identification again, at which point Contreras ran away. Police later caught up with him on Irwin Avenue, where he was found to be in possession of plastic gloves and a homemade "shank" knife tucked into his jacket sleeve.

Contreras is charged with attempted robbery, attempted burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possesion of a forged instrument and criminal impersonation.

Authorities are urging residents to be aware that criminals occasionally claim to be law enforcement officers in order to further criminal activity. When in doubt, identification should be sought and will be provided.

If you feel that you have been the victim of a crime or have had a suspicious interaction with a person or persons claiming to be law enforcement officers, please call the Middletown Police at 845-343-3151 or the New York State Police at 845-344-5300.