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Police Probe Progressing In Package Store Incident



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Police Chief James Viadero said this week that police investigators are making "great progress" in their probe into a multifaceted violent incident on the night of January 21 at Rooster Wines & Liquors at 113 South Main Street (Route 25).

That incident involved a reported armed robbery, a fire inside the store, and a hate crime.

Chief Viadero said January 30 that police have obtained several search-and-seizure warrants for the collection of evidence in the criminal case.

The police chief added that police have established " a suspect" in the case, but declined to disclose that person's identity.

"I am very confident that this [investigation] will result in an arrest," Chief Viadero said. The police chief also expressed thanks to state police and the state fire marshal for providing town police with technical assistance in investigating the crime at the scene.

Chief Viadero has said that during his more than 30-year law enforcement career, he has never seen an armed robbery coupled with a hate crime.

According to a police statement, at about 8:28 pm on January 21, police responded to the package store after receiving a report that a robbery had just occurred there.

On arriving, police spotted a fire burning inside the rear of the building. They entered the store and assisted volunteer firefighters in putting out the blaze with fire extinguishers.

A proprietor of the store told police that two males had entered the premises, with one of those men requesting help in locating a product. One of the men who was brandishing a firearm then walked the proprietor to the sales counter and stole a large amount of cash from several nights' receipts, according to the initial police report.

After stealing the money, the suspects fled to the rear of the store, starting a fire inside before exiting through a rear door, thus forcing the proprietor to flee through a front window, which the proprietor smashed to exit.

On checking the premises and the surrounding area for a suspect, with the assistance of a state police tracking dog, police officers observed an anti-Semitic racial slur and two swastikas painted on the rear door of the establishment, according to the police report.

Police ask anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact them at 203-426-5841.

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