Shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday morning, state police responded to reports of an armed robbery at the Adult World Boutique located on Route 17m in New Hampton in Orange County.
A 911 call from the clerk reported that two men entered the store brandishing handguns and demanding cash, and that approximately $2,800 in cash was stolen from a safe. The men were seen by witnesses exiting the business holding handguns and fleeing in a light colored Ford Focus. A short time later the vehicle was stopped by Village of Goshen Police on Route 17m in Goshen. The occupants were taken into custody by responding troopers and Goshen officers.
The ensuing investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined that the robbery had been staged to cover the previous embezzlement of cash by the clerk who had originally called 911.
According to police, clerk Venessa Mirabel, 47, of Middletown, had been stealing cash from the business over the course of the past month. A plan was allegedly hatched with three accomplices to stage a robbery of the business in an effort to hide the previous thefts. Anthony Williams, 22, Jesse Hocutt, 32, and Sabrina Williams, 25, all of Hurleyville, were arrested as a result of the investigation. Mirabel was also arrested.
All were charged with counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, and fifth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor. Mirabel was charged with additional counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, and providing a false written statement, a misdemeanor. All four were arraigned in the Town of Wallkill Court and remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of cash bail.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.