A New York woman with 22 prior arrests and seven open cases was released with an appearance ticket in the Hudson Valley after she was allegedly caught stealing a chainsaw from Home Depot.

The Hudson Valley woman and her alleged driver were both arrested thanks to an alert off-duty police officer, police say.

Off-Duty Fallsburg Detective Observes Monticello Woman Swiping Chainsaw from Home Depot

"An alert off-duty police detective is being credited with the apprehension of 2 individuals for a theft in progress at the Home Depot in Monticello," Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Eric Chaboty wrote in a press release on Friday.

On Saturday, April 9, 2022, Fallsburg Detective Brendan Pavese observed a woman grab a Dewalt chainsaw and run out the front door of the store past employees, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.


Pavese was off-duty at the time of the alleged crime but he immediately contacted the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office about his observations. The off-duty detective also provided the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office with the license plate number and description of the suspect.

Suspect's Car Spotted on East Broadway in Monticello, New York - Sullivan County

Several minutes after the initial report, a Sullivan County sheriff’s patrol vehicle stopped the alleged suspect's vehicle on East Broadway in Monticello.

Upon approaching the car, deputies were able to see in plain view, the chainsaw stolen from the Monticello Home Depot in the back seat, according to police.


Deputies arrested the driver, 39-year-old Joseph R. Fitzgerald of Beach Lake, PA; and the front seat passenger, 31-year-old Brittany L. Neuberger 31, of Monticello, New York. Both suspects were charged with petit larceny, a misdemeanor.

Fitzgerald Wanted In New York State, Missing In Pennsylvania

Deputies also learned that Fitzgerald had a suspended driver’s license.

He was also found to be listed as a missing person by the Pennsylvania State Police and also to have had an outstanding warrant with the New York State Police in Liberty for failing to appear in court on a prior drug charge, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.


He was turned over to state troopers for arrest processing.

Neuberger Found With Assortment of Drugs, Stolen Credit Card, Police Say

Neuberger was found to be in possession of oxycodone, methamphetamine, and fentanyl as well as a stolen credit card that was reported stolen to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office in February 2022, police say.

She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, and felony possession of stolen property.


Neuberger Arrested 22 Prior Times

"Despite having 22 prior arrests and 7 open cases, Brittany Neuberger was issued an appearance ticket and released under New York’s bail reform law. Both suspects are due back in the Town of Thompson justice court later this month," Chaboty stated.

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