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Pelham Residents Thankful for Robbery Arrest

PELHAM, N.Y. – Pelham residents said they feel safe coming off the train and are thankful that the Pelham Police Department announced the person responsible for eight Sound Shore robberies since January has been caught.

Michelle Pactol, owner of Richard’s Passport across the street from the Metro-North train station, uses the train to get to and from work. She said the robberies in Pelham made her upset and scared, but that she was relieved when Pelham police said they had a suspect in custody.

“That’s very good news,” she said upon hearing of the arrest. “I’m relieved. He won’t kill anybody, but he has a gun. It is scary.”

Following a 90-minute interrogation by Pelham Detectives Rick Deere and John Hynes on Friday, police said Oliver Famby , 19, of New Rochelle confessed to the three robberies in Pelham in addition to robberies of a similar nature in the village of Mamaroneck, town of Mamaroneck, New Rochelle and two in Harrison .

In each of the robberies, police said the victims were approached from behind with a black semiautomatic gun and told to lie on the ground, which is when police said the victims were robbed. All of the robberies occurred by the train station of each community.

When told that Famby, a former cab driver, was a New Rochelle resident, Pactol said, “Oh, that’s why he knows the New Haven line.”

81-year-old Richie Bell, a lifelong Pelham resident, said, “This is a good thing for the Pelham police and Pelham.”

“I had a feeling they were going to catch him,” said the owner of Village Wine and Liquor and Pelham Produce. “Pelham’s very lucky they work hard – they really do,” he said of the police department.

Bell also said he loves “the guy that caught him,” alluding to 15-year law enforcement veteran, Sgt. Christopher Casucci. Police said Casucci arrested Famby on Friday at 5:20 a.m. after spotting a gun inside a dark BMW that was not registered to him. Famby had just returned from trying to find someone to rob at the Larchmont train station, police said, and was hoping he could rob someone in Pelham.

Casucci previously worked six years for the New York City and Mount Vernon Police Departments before transferring to Pelham in 2003, Pelham Police Chief Joe Benefico said. He was promoted to sergeant in May 2011.

“Sgt. Casucci employed conscientious patrol skills and excellent observation techniques to apprehend this person and put an end to this crime wave that has had a variety of lower Westchester County police departments on high alert since January of this year,” Benefico said.

While police said officers found a victim’s handbag in the car that Famby was discovered in before his arrest, he sold the other stolen items. Police said they plan on checking his residency to see if they can find any of the iPads, wallets, cash and jewelry Famby allegedly robbed from his victims.

Famby was arraigned Saturday in Pelham and charged with three counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of a stolen handgun, all felonies, Benefico said. He is being held in the Westchester County Jail with no bail and is scheduled to appear in Pelham Town Court at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Five more armed robbery charges are pending in the other communities.

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