By M. C. Millman –

During the busy Yom Tov season, a number of Chaverim members were able come to the aid of the greater Monsey community on several occasions. One event took place on Friday, April 14, around 1:14 in the afternoon when Chaverim members took note of a suspicious-looking individual in the neighborhood. The Chaverim members followed Hayler Ruiz-Alejo for over an hour as he drove around the Monsey area seemingly observing Decatur, Herrick and Rita Avenues, Ronald Drive and Frances Place before leaving his car parked on a private driveway on Ronald Drive and exiting it to survey several properties.

As he went into the back of a house, he found a 78-year-old woman whom he grabbed around the neck and began to pull toward his car. By that point, Chaverim members had already surrounded the area. As the Chaverim members closed in yelling at him to let the woman go, Hayler Ruiz-Alejo tried to flee but tripped and fell in front of the house as he was making his attempted escape back toward his car.

Thanks to the watchfulness of the Chaverim members, the victim, fortunately, did not suffer any serious injuries. The 30-year-old Spring Valley man, who had a knife on him, was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted robbery, second-degree assault, criminal trespassing and driving while intoxicated. Police escorted Ruiz-Alejo to the hospital for minor injuries and said other charges are still pending as well.

As an additional example of the level-headed thinking of the Chaverim members, it should be noted that the perpetrator had left the engine of his car running as well as the front door open to enable a quick getaway. Long before Ruiz-Alejo was able to even reach his car, a quick-thinking Chaverim member had already turned off the engine and pocketed the keys so the man would not be able to escape in his vehicle before the arrival of the police.

The actions of Chaverim members also led to the arrest of three thieves who were casing the Dr. Frank, Blueberry Hill Road neighborhood for cars to steal as well as to steal the contents from, bikes to steal and Amazon packages on porches, which were easy targets to snatch.

During Pesach, Chaverim’s hotline received a call from an individual who found a bag full of stolen electronics including iPads, GPSs, cell phones and more, which Chaverim has since been working on returning to their owners.

In another incident, one of Chaverim’s four Shabbos Patrol members spotted a man in his early 20s breaking into a vehicle off of Morris Court on Tuesday morning, April 18, at 3:35 a.m. The Chaverim Safety Patrol member immediately informed the Ramapo Police Department of the crime in progress while requesting other Chaverim Safety Patrol cars to back him up in the area. In the meantime, the thief started running down Maple Avenue toward Spring Valley so the Chaverim Safety Patrol member contacted the Spring Valley Police Department as well, all while following the perpetrator. The Spring Valley Police Department caught the thief and after placing him under arrest, they discovered that the individual already had a warrant of arrest by the Spring Valley Police Department for another crime as well.

Chaveirim’s Safety Patrol routes are proving to be very successful, giving greater peace of mind to the community as well as added security and safety. Monsey is grateful to Chaverim for all they do to make our community a safer, happier and better place to live.
To contact Chaverim of Rockland email: info@chvrm.org, call the office at 845.371.6334 or call the 24-hour emergency hotline at 845.371.6333.

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