The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

Indictment issued in home invasion case


By R.J. MARX AND CAROLINE C. SHERWIN


The man charged with breaking into a Bedford Hills home on May 5 was indicted last week in a U.S. District Court, according to the justice department. A grand jury found that the defendant, Bartek Zajkowski, broke into a Bedford Hills home and attempted to rob the owners.

In addition, Mr. Zajkowski was charged with committing extortion against the Bedford Hills family over a period extending from May 5 to July 14. According to the complaint, Mr. Zajkowski threatened to harm the victim’s children if the victim did not deposit $3 million into a bank account in the Netherlands. As a result of these crimes, the defendant is required to forfeit all property traceable to his offenses, which may include such items as computers or vehicles.

The larceny charge is being handled by the federal government because of the attempt to steal goods from outside the United States. These included a Dutch painting that was purchased in the Netherlands. For the extortion charge, Mr. Zajkowski is being charged by the department of justice because a Dutch bank account was used, as was the U.S. mail.

A complaint issued late last year gave more specific information on Mr. Zajkowski’s alleged crimes. The complaint details an account of what occurred last May at a secluded property on Broad Brook Road in Bedford Hills. “A man was near the garage when he was approached by the defendant, who was dressed all in black and carrying a handgun. He demanded the victim lie on the ground and then bound his hands and feet with plastic ties.”

The defendant then allegedly took the man’s wallet and asked what valuables were inside the house. After answering the defendant, the victim’s mouth was bound with duct tape. Mr. Zajkowski then entered the house, where the man’s wife and three children were inside. “He encountered the wife in a bedroom, pointed a gun at her and announced that he was robbing her and her house,” stated the complaint.

A struggle ensued, and Mr. Zajkowski ultimately shot the wife in the stomach with a BB gun. Mr. Zajkowski then bound her with plastic ties, taking the jewels she was wearing. He then asked her where more valuables were located in the house. After he exited the bedroom, she was able to free herself and activate the panic alarm. Shortly thereafter she heard the defendant leave the house.

Local police responded to the alarm and evacuated the homeowners. They searched the surrounding area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Two days later, on May 7, a barn located on the property was destroyed by fire. Police and other agencies determined the fire to be of suspicious origins.

On May 14, the Broad Brook Road residents received a letter in the mail with a return address of “Can’t C Mee.” The letter stated, “I know where you live, what you do. If you want your kids to be safe, you will pay $1 million for each one, you have until May 19.”

Mr. Zajkowski wrote that the residents should consider themselves “lucky” that the family’s horses did not burn in the barn fire. The letter continued with demands on how payment was to be made.

A second letter was received by the victims on May 17, threatening the family a second time, stating that the “cops won’t protect you from me.”

The investigation led FBI investigators to Ridgefield, Conn., where the defendant was a suspect in a home invasion that occurred on Sept. 17, 2011. An arrest warrant had been issued for Mr. Zajkowski by the Ridgefield Town Court in November 2011. Further investigation identified a contractor who had hired Mr. Zajkowski to work at the Bedford Hills residence in 2010.

Authorities traced Mr. Zajkowski to his residence in Queens and he was arrested on the Ridgefield warrant and taken into federal custody. Authorities discovered BB pellets, duct tape, a cellphone, and computers, found to contain maps of the streets, highways and areas surrounding the Bedford Hills house. These maps were saved to the laptop computers on May 6, one day after the home invasion and one day before the arson of the barn.

Despite his incarceration, Mr. Zajkowski continued writing to the Bedford Hills victims. In the letter, Mr. Zajkowski requested that the victim visit him in jail.

Currently, Mr. Zajkowski remains in Connecticut state custody. According to federal authorities, he will be arraigned in White Plains at a future date, to be determined.


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February 1, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

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