It's a fine line between being benevolent and getting duped. Some residents learned the hard way to err on the side of caution.
A Tarrytown woman reported to police that at about 7:45 p.m. on May 28, a heavyset man knocked on her 240 South Broadway apartment door requesting $82 so he could buy medicine for his father. The resident voluntarily gave the man $100. After interviewing the woman, an officer determined she had been the victim of larceny by deception. The officer was able to obtain video footage of the suspect which was entered as evidence to the detective division.
The same day, the so-called heavyset man struck nearby: A call came in on May 29 reporting that on May 28 around 6 p.m., a man knocked on the door where this woman worked for a resident at the same 240 South Broadway apartments, requesting cash for his sick father "who lived upstairs." The female worker gave the man $50. She reported to police on the next day that the man had not come back to return the money and she was concerned she had been deceived.
Finally, came a third report on May 30: in the same building, a heavyset male apparently knocked on a woman's window and requested cash. He was wearing a white and light blue striped shirt. She did not give him the money. This time, officers were able to find the man and arrest him at 4:18 p.m.
Ronald Snyder, 45, was charged with two counts of petit larceny, arraigned with bail set at $5,000 or $10,000 bond, and was transported to Westchester County Jail. He could face up to one year in jail if convicted.
This was not the first arrest for Snyder. This man, who listed a current address in Ossining, "has a record for this type of thing," said Tarrytown Lieutenant William Herguth.
Herguth's advice to residents? "Use caution. There are scam artists out there." Everything this man said, according to Herguth, "was completely fabricated." Snyder's trademark has been saying he is a neighbor and trying to help a sick relative.
Fabricating sob stories to ply good samaritans from their money seems to have been this man's mode for some years. According to SILive.com in 2010 he was arrested on Staten Island for tricking someone into giving him $40 toward buying his sick daughter a nebulizer. This followed an arrest that same week for shoplifting.
In 2009, also on Staten Island, reported SILive.com, Snyder used the story of a sick daughter in need of help to win a total of $116 from various residents within a small area. The man, descibed as a "hefty 300 pounds" told police he used the money he got knocking on doors to put food on the table and "get high."
Snyder is no stranger to jail either. He has served several few-months stints — three months in 2005 after a Brooklyn arrest, three months four months later, four months in 2009. He was supposedly issued a several-year probation following his 2010 arrest.