NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Edward Conklin, 61, is many things — a drug addict, a drug dealer and a thief — but he is most notorious as the aggressive panhandler who has plagued downtown New Rochelle for a decade.
Conklin was arrested by New Rochelle Police and charged with Robbery – Third. He was Released on his Own Recognizance.
Conklin’s latest victim was Anthony Orza, an 87 year-old man and owner of the Bread Factory in New Rochelle. Conklin committed a strong-arm robbery, captured on CCTV surveillance video obtained by Talk of the Sound, The robbery took place in broad daylight on Tuesday August 11th. The CCTV video is time-stamped 3:24 p.m.
As Orza was placing items in the back of his car his back was turned to Conklin, who can be seen walking on the sidewalk along Grove Avenue near Warren Street, heading in the direction of downtown New Rochelle.
Conklin stopped and asked Orza for a dollar.
Anyone familiar with Conklin’s aggressive panhandling will recognize his familiar “introduction”.
Orza turned and walked unsuspectingly towards Conklin who stood still except for his left hand flapping excitedly by his side.
Orza told police he reached into his pocket to take out cash. As he handed Conklin two dollars, Conklin took the two dollars with his left hand then with both hands immediately grabbed another $800 he had in his other hand. A brief physical altercation ensued before Conklin broke free of Orza, taking Orza’s money and left the scene, heading West on Grove Avenue.
Andrea Oliveri, Orza’s daughter told police she observed the incident from a CCTV video monitor in the store then came outside to find out what happened. When her father told her Conklin took his money, Oliveri pursued Conklin for half a mile to a building. After Conklin arrived, New Rochelle Police arrived and arrested Conklin.
When Conklin was arrested in the past he gave police a home address of 40 Sixth Street which is approximately a half mile from the Bread Factory.
Talk of the Sound has been warning readers about Conklin since 2010:
We first encountered Conklin in August 2010 as he aggressively and persistently moved along North Avenue, hitting up every single person coming near him for money — always asking for a dollar.
“This guy moves very quickly but manages to hit up every single person in his path…(he) hit up about 30 people in 3 minutes,” we reported.
A commenter who was asked for a dollar by Conklin in 2010 warned “…the next time he approaches, he may be ready to snatch and run and it is best to be on your guard.”
A few months later we wrote:
Downtown residents and merchants have been complaining to Talk of the Sound about this guy for months — David Conklin.
Conklin circles around the downtown area non-stop, throughout the day, hitting up everyone in downtown for money. He loiters outside stores, watches people get out of their cars, linger near ATM machines and otherwise makes a nuisance of himself. He is beyond persistent to the point of harassing people walking in downtown New Rochelle. He will ask people for money when they walk into a store and if they ignore him and then come back out with a purchase in hand he will accuse them of lying and demand money. This guy covers a lot of ground and appears to be an auto-pilot as he bounced from one person to the next.
A year later, on November 30, 2011, Conklin was arrested on Felony Drug Charges as a result of Operation “City Sweeper”.
Edward Conklin 7/10/1959 40 Sixth St, NR