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Year In Review: Robbery Arrests Kept Newtown Police Department Busy In 2017

Published: December 31, 2017

Town police made arrests in 2017 involving three robberies and one incident that was reported to them as a robbery, but actually was not.

In Connecticut Superior Court in March, prosecutors added a charge of insurance fraud, which is a felony, to the seven criminal charges pending against the former proprietor of a South Main Street package store, whom police allege falsely told them that an armed robbery had occurred there on the night of January 21. Police allege that Scott Young, 39, of Southington, the former proprietor of Rooster Wines & Liquors at 113 South Main Street, falsely claimed that two male robbers started a fire within the store and sprayed anti-Semitic graffiti on the building’s exterior after committing robbery.

Through their investigation, police determined that no robbery occurred and that Mr Young started that fire and sprayed the graffiti, according to a court affidavit.

In February, Newtown police had charged Mr Young on a warrant with seven crimes in connection with the incident. Police arrested him on charges of first-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief, making a false statement, interfering with police, and three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. Police filed three separate counts of first-degree reckless endangerment against Mr Young because three people — a father, a mother, and a child — were inside their apartment, which is located on the second story of 113 South Main Street, when Mr Young allegedly set the fire inside the ground-floor package store.

According to an arrest warrant application, police grew suspicious of what Mr Young had told them, finding certain inconsistencies in his story as he told and retold them what had occurred. Police also found inconsistencies between certain physical evidence at the scene and the story that Mr Young had provided.

Mr Young has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges against him. He is free on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court on January 17.

In April, police charged a Sandy Hook man with first-degree robbery in connection with a January incident involving the threat of violence by two men with firearms at a South Main Street gas station/convenience store.

Police served an arrest warrant at Connecticut Superior Court in Danbury, lodging the robbery charge against Stephen Violet, 19, of the Riverside section of Newtown. Violet is accused of participating in an armed robbery about 10:37 pm on January 20 at Wheels Citgo, 151 South Main Street.

Police have said their probe into the robbery is continuing, with other suspects in the case being investigated. Police have said that two male store clerks were the victims of two robbers.

Violet was being held on $425,000 bail overall on December 27 at Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire. He has pleaded not guilty to the robbery charge and to many other serious charges that have been lodged against him by Norwalk police. Violet is scheduled to appear in Connecticut Superior Court in Danbury on January 8 in the gas station robbery case.

In October, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment, charging John J. McCarthy, 63, of Newtown with one count of armed bank robbery in connection with an August 24 incident in Newtown.

Newtown police arrested McCarthy who was fleeing on foot near the bank shortly after the robbery occurred. In federal court, McCarthy pleaded not guilty to the charge.

As alleged in the indictment, McCarthy, who was armed with a large knife, robbed a branch office of Bank of America on Queen Street.

On January 28, 1994, McCarthy was sentenced in US District Court in Waterbury to 235 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. McCarthy was released from federal prison in March 2017 and was on supervised release when he allegedly robbed the bank. If convicted of the bank robbery charge, McCarthy faces a maximum prison term of 25 years. He also faces an additional imprisonment if he is found to have violated the conditions of his supervised release.
At his arraignment in Connecticut Superior Court in Danbury on August 25, McCarthy pleaded not guilty to the four state charges that he faces in the bank robbery.

On December 27, McCarthy was being held on $250,000 bail at MacDougall Correctional Institution in Suffield. He is scheduled to appear in Connecticut Superior Court in Danbury on January 16.

As 2017 was drawing to a close, on December 21, police arrested a Danbury man, Osvaldo Lopez, on nine criminal and motor vehicle charges stemming from a November 2 robbery in Sandy Hook Center.

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