A reader sent me the following message last week:
My sister, her friend my next door neighbor and me all had a strange thing happen. Last Saturday (6/19) a man knocked on my apartment door, claimed to live down the hall and asked for money for a copayment of $36 to get medicine for his daughter…I told him no…he then knocked on the door of my neighbor claimed he was a cousin of a third neighbor and asked her for $100. This passed Wed. the same guy knocked on my sister’s door (she lives 1/2 mile from me). She told me that a guy with the same description knocked on the door of a friend on Friday (6/18) night. Just thought the word should go out.
That reader lives on East 28th Street and Voorhies Avenue, and her sister on Knapp Street and Avenue X – so it looks like he might be hitting up co-ops on the eastern side of Sheepshead Bay.
If the story wasn’t weird enough, the next day another reader sent me a link to a story from a Staten Island newspaper. She lives in the Kings Bay co-ops; the same area as the other incidents. She wrote that the co-op manager slipped photocopies under residents’ doors.
Well, I took the story and the photo (above) and ran it past our original reader, who confirmed it was the man that came to her door.
The guy, Ronald Snyder, is a scam artist awaiting sentencing for doing out in S.I. exactly what he’s now doing in BK. Here’s an excerpt from the Staten Island story:
According to court papers, Snyder entered a Hylan Boulevard apartment building on Wednesday and knocked on a resident’s door. Falsely claiming to be a neighbor, he said he had just returned home from the hospital with his daughter, who had suffered an asthma attack.
Touched by his story, the victim handed over the cash, which Snyder promised to repay, said prosecutors.
The only problems were the defendant doesn’t have a daughter and didn’t need a nebulizer, court papers said.
Snyder pleaded guilty at his arraignment Saturday in Stapleton Criminal Court to misdemeanor counts of fraudulent accosting, criminal trespass and stolen-property possession to cover the three incidents.
He is expected to be sentenced to up to three years’ probation when he returns to court on July 12. In the meantime, Judge Desmond Green released him on his own recognizance.
While Snyder isn’t getting jail time, as he previously did for similar crimes, he isn’t off the hook, prosecutors said. He could be tossed behind bars if he gets in trouble any time while on probation.
“Any violation of the terms of his probation could result in a significant jail sentence to the misdemeanor charges he pled to,” said William J. Smith, spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
So not only is this scumbag persisting with the same stupid scam that he’s already been arrested for, he’s doing it while he awaits a slap-on-the-wrist sentence for which the only real punishment is “stop pulling that stupid scam.”
But we’re not done yet. Synder just got out of jail in December after a 4-month sentence. According to the article, “Snyder on Sept. 22 knocked on the doors of five homes on three blocks of Richmond. He told unwitting residents he was their neighbor and begged for money, saying it was for his daughter in the hospital.”
But wait, there’s more!
Snyder was previously arrested in Brooklyn in 2005 for three counts of fraudulent-accosting and petit-larceny charges, which means he’s been doing the same scam for at least 5 years, has been arrested three times for it, served time twice, and is still fleecing residents with the same phony story while awaiting sentencing.
How many chances does a guy get?!
We sent this story to the Richmond’s District Attorney to see what they had to say. They wrote back:
At his arraignment, our office sought an adjournment in the case so we could put together an offer that would include jail time. Unfortunately, the judge in the case allowed Mr. Snyder to plead guilty to the top charge, in exchange for a sentence of probation. This was done over our objections.
Regarding the accounts you have received below from residents of your area with similar stories of encounters with Mr. Snyder, unfortunately, they will have no bearing on the July 12th sentence he receives since those incidents were apparently not reported to police in Brooklyn and did not result in an arrest. We would certainly encourage your readers, if they have similar encounters with Mr. Snyder, to report them immediately to their local NYPD precinct or the Brooklyn DA’s office.
You hear that? If this guy knocks on your door, call the NYPD immediately. If Snyder is picked up before his July 12 sentencing, it could mean he’ll get the time he deserves.
Oh, and thumbs up to all those Sheepshead residents – co-op manager included – who were alert enough to identify a scam artist, and cared enough to get the word out to neighbors.