Police Blotter

Fraud Arrest

On March 30th, 2023, at about 4:30pm, New Rochelle Detectives were alerted by staff at New Rochelle Toyota that a possible fraudulent purchase of a vehicle was in progress at the dealership. Detectives responded and found three suspects on scene, two of whom were unlawfully using names and social security numbers of real persons from Pennsylvania and Iowa to fraudulently obtain a car loan for over $100,000.00. Detectives were able to contact the victims from Pennsylvania and Iowa and confirmed they were unsuspecting victims of identity theft. All three suspects were placed under arrest at the scene.

ARRESTED: Victoria K. Mendez, 34 years of age, of Astoria, NY; Sherinne Pelaez-Zencovich, 24 years of age, of Quebec, Canada.


NYS Penal Law Section 155.40 Grand Larceny 2nd degree – D Felony NYS Penal Law Section 105.10 Conspiracy 4th Degree – E Felony

NYS Penal Law Section 170.25 Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd Degree – D felony NYS Penal Law Section 190.79 Identity Theft 2nd Degree – E Felony


Luis Ortega Perez, 25 years of age, of Jackson Heights, NY, was arrested and charged with NYS Penal Law Section 105.10 Conspiracy 4th degree – E Felony

NYS Penal Law Section 22.03 – Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree – A Misdemeanor


Grand Larceny – Scam Arrest

On April 20th, 2023, at about 2:00pm, New Rochelle Detectives arrested a suspect for Grand Larceny in what has been come to be known as a ‘Grandparent Scam,’ a nationwide trend where scammers call unsuspecting victims pretending to be a grandchild or friend of the family in distress and in need of bail money. In this incident a New Rochelle resident received a call from someone purporting to be a friend who was in jail and in need of bail money. They received a second call from someone saying they were from the ‘Public Defender’s Office,’ and that the bail money needed was over $15000. The residents contacted New Rochelle Detectives to investigate. The suspect called again to set up a time to meet the victims to receive the money. When the suspect arrived, he was met by New Rochelle Detectives instead, who placed him under arrest. These “Grandparent Scams” are a trend nationwide, and the New Rochelle Police Department encourages anyone who receives such a call to contact their local police department and report these incidents.

ARRESTED: Roger Mena-Carrion, 28 years of age, of the Bronx, NY.

CHARGES: NYS Penal Law Section 155.35 Grand Larceny 3rd Degree – D Felony


Two Arrested on Weapons Charges After Fleeing in Stolen Car

Two Connecticut men were arrested on weapons charges, and a submachine gun and a semiautomatic handgun were recovered, after a stolen vehicle fled from Westchester County Police late last month. One suspect was taken into custody immediately when he ran from the stolen car in Mount Vernon. The other was captured in Scarsdale after an hours-long search involving multiple law enforcement agencies. The incident began about 1:35 p.m. when the Real Time Crime Center notified patrol units that a stolen black Audi was traveling near the Pelham-Mount Vernon border. A County Police officer canvassed the area and located the stolen car on East Sandford Blvd. When the suspects saw the police vehicle approaching, the Audi abruptly turned into Union Avenue where a male passenger jumped out sprinted away, dropping a semi-automatic handgun as he did so. That suspect was captured after a foot pursuit with the assistance of Mount Vernon police officers.

Knowing that the Audi had been reported stolen from Westport, Conn, a County police officer anticipated the potential path of the suspect vehicle and set up on the northbound side of the Hutchinson River Parkway. A short time later, the officer spotted the fleeing Audi being driven recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic. As he caught up to it, the stolen car sideswiped a motorist near the Weaver Street exit. The officer stopped to render assistance to the occupants of the struck vehicle who suffered minor injuries. Other responding officers located the Audi abandoned near the Mamaroneck Road exit in Scarsdale. A check of the vehicle revealed a “MAC-10” style submachine gun with an extended magazine on the back seat. This weapon, and the Ruger handgun recovered in Mount Vernon, were later determined to be stolen. Multiple police agencies responded to search for the second suspect, including the Scarsdale Police Department, Town of Mamaroneck Police Department, New Rochelle Police Department, MTA Police Department and members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. Westchester County Police also deployed its Aviation Unit helicopter, its tactical team (known formally as the Special Response Team), and a tracking canine/bloodhound. With assistance from an observant foursome playing golf at a nearby golf club, officers were able to obtain a more detailed description of the suspect, including that he was without any shoes on his feet. They also reported that the man had fled into a wooded area east of the parkway. With help from Westchester County Emergency Management personnel, an incident command post was set up as multiple officers flooded the area for a search. Scarsdale Police Chief Andrew Matturro and Town of Mamaroneck Police Chief Paul Creazzo were instrumental at the command post, providing officers to assist with establishing a perimeter and putting out information to residents in the adjacent neighborhoods. That proved valuable later in the evening when a Scarsdale resident spotted a shoeless man in his neighborhood and promptly called police. Scarsdale PD found the suspect and took him into custody. Westchester County Police charged Jariel Agron, 19, and Jose Garcia, 18, both of New Britain, Conn., with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd and 3rd Degree, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th Degree.  Additional charges are likely. They were held overnight at County Police headquarters in Hawthorne pending arraignment today in Mount Vernon City Court.


Bronx Woman Arrested for Threatening to Shoot Up Local Restaurant

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,  Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Robert Gazzola, the Commissioner of the New Rochelle Police Department (“NRPD”), announced that JAYLEEN MOTA was arrested on April 16, 2023, and charged via a criminal Complaint filed in White Plains federal court with making threatening interstate communications, in which MOTA threatened to shoot up a popular nationwide chain restaurant and sports bar located on LeCount Place in New Rochelle on Saturday night.  MOTA will be presented in White Plains federal court later today before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause.


U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Actual or threatened gun violence cannot be tolerated.  Simply put, those who place the public in fear by engaging in or threatening the use of violence will be held accountable.  This Office commends the swift action of the New Rochelle Police Department and the FBI in quickly tracking down this threat.”


FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “As alleged, Ms. Mota sent a series of text messages in which she threatened to commit a mass shooting at a crowded New Rochelle restaurant.  Communicating threats like those we allege she made can waste valuable law enforcement resources and cause unnecessary alarm in our communities.  Today’s charges should serve as a reminder for all that the FBI takes these types of threats seriously, and there will be consequences for those who make them.”


NRPD Commissioner Robert Gazzola said: “I want to commend the New Rochelle Police detectives, members of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety’s Real Time Crime Center, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  They worked quickly and diligently to identify and arrest the individual who allegedly made threats of mass violence directed at a local New Rochelle restaurant.  It is a testament to the professional cooperation that exists in law enforcement today.  The New Rochelle Police Department does not tolerate such acts and will make every effort to identify and arrest anyone making such threats.”


As alleged in the Complaint filed today:[1]

On April 15, 2023, the NRPD received a call from an individual (“Caller-1”) who had received an initial text message from an unknown person, later identified as MOTA, threatening to “shoot[] up” a popular nationwide chain restaurant and sports bar located on LeCount Place in New Rochelle (the “Victim Restaurant”).  The text message further stated that there would be a “massacre” and “lots of people are going down.”  A subsequent text message stated that “[t]odays a busy night because of the game DON’T TAKE ME AS A JOKE lots of people will die DON’T CALL THE STORE AND RUIN MY PLANS I’m gonna make the news.”


That same day, the NRPD received a call from a second individual (“Caller-2”) who had received an identical text message from an unknown person threatening to “shooting[] up” the Victim Restaurant and commit a “massacre,” stating, “lots of people are going down.”



The NRPD took the phone number from which the text-message threats were sent and traced the number back to MOTA.  On the evening of April 15, 2023, pursuant to a search warrant, the FBI and New Rochelle Police searched MOTA’s apartment and found both MOTA and the cellphone from which MOTA sent the threats.  After informing MOTA of her Miranda rights, she consented to being interviewed and admitted that she had sent text messages threatening to shoot up the Victim Restaurant to five individuals.