Lake George, NY – It would have been a nightmare for anyone.
Imagine travelling from Montreal to New York to shop for an upcoming wedding. The credit card conversion charges from the American dollar to the Canadian dollar are outrageous – so you bring cash. To outfit a family of ten you need thousands of dollars. As you cross the Canadian border you declare the cash –all eight thousand of it.
Now the nightmare.
You stop at a rest stop to both use the facilities and to get gasoline. You stop at exit 18 in Cumberland Farms on Route 87. There is a huge line to use the facilities. You do not want to leave the cash in the car so you bring it with you. You hang your coat up and place the bag of money under the coat. In your rush to leave, you take your coat – but you forget the bag of cash. When you arrive in Kiryas Joel, NY three hours later, you realize that the money is no longer with you. Truly a potential nightmare.
This is what happened to Mr. Y… [who asked to remain anonymous] from the Satmar community in Montreal. And it would have been a true nightmare if not for the dedication of Sergeants Daniel Hill, Mike Webster and police officer Mike Cote from the Warren County Sherrif’s Office in Lake George, a manager of the convenience store, and a young little boy and his mother.
Mr. Y contacted the New York State Police as soon as he realized that the money was gone. They in turn contacted the Lake George Sherriff’s department, where police officer Cote immediately went to Cumberland Farms in Queensberry to retrieve the money for Mr. Y. Property management officer, Sergeant Daniel Hill, received the funds from Officer Cote.
In an exclusive interview with VIN News, Sergeant Hill remarked, “ Everyone was doing their job. Officer Mike Cote was the police officer that actually secured the funds. Over the course of the summer we have lost and found properties calls consistently – cameras, wallets, all sorts of things. And we do our best to reunite them with their owners.”
Apparently, an eight year old boy, Julien Desmangles, had found the money. Young Julien immediately told his mother, Florence Reynaud -,who turned the money in to the Cumberland Farms convenience store employee – Wendy Shackett. She in turn called the Warren County Sherriff’s office who came to retrieve the funds. In the meantime, the State Police had contacted the Sherriff’s office as well, who informed the New York State Police that they had already received a call and were on their way to retrieve the funds.
In the meantime the police had come to the convenience store at Cumberland Farms and obtained Mr. Y’s bag from Ms. Shackett. Police are often called for what seems to be trivial non-emergencies, and unfortunately do not necessarily receive the thanks or recognition that they deserve.
“This year we are up to close to 13,000 calls. During an average year we respond to approximately twenty thousand calls. It is hard to say how many of those are for lost and found, though,” stated Sergeant Hill.
Officer Cote is one of the younger officers in the Warren County Sherriff’s office. “He is pretty diligent and got hold of the owner right away. The owner was certainly very very appreciative and thanked us profusely,” said Sergeant Hill.
Sheriff Bud York Told VIN News “what is very impressive, is the fact that we have a young little boy her mom, and a store employee all honest citizens that have found this amount of cash and turned it over, and then we have our officers who where the final piece of the puzzle to make sure it gets back to the right owner, that’s what we call team work, “we have a team of very dedicated officers and I am truly proud”, Said the Sheriff.
The role of Ms. Schacket was discovered by VIN News and was duly reported to Mr. Y.
Mr. Y was very touched by young Julien’s honesty and that of his mother Florence. In conversation with Ms. Reynard, it was discovered that she had once lived a few blocks from Mr. Y in Montreal.
In his trip from Montreal to New York, Mr. Y was actually combining two trips in one – the shopping trip for the wedding of his child which was three weeks away, and a visit to the grave site of the Satmar Rebbe , Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum of blessed memory, on the twenty-ninth anniversary of his death. Mr. Y attributes the success in locating his lost funds to Syata DiShmaya, the honesty and integrity of the people involved, and the fact that it was at the Satmar Rebbe’s grave on the day of his Yahrtzeit that he had made the phone calls.
Rabbi Bernard Freilich a renowned public activist in the Jewish community, and special assistant to the NY state Police told VIN News “ A story like this reemphasizes what law enforcement is all about,” “I have been working with the NY state police and law enforcement for the past 15 years, I have seen firsthand many times where they go out of their way to help in non life saving matters” having said that, when an incident like this comes to light, we as a community needs to use this as an opportunity to strongly recognize those law enforcement, and show truly our heartfelt appreciation. Said Rabbi Freilich.
Rabbi Freilich also added “I constantly meet police officers, and I hear many times how officers would mention that someone actually thanked them for the work they do, so next time you see a law enforcement officer don’t be shy say thank you to them”.
In a related story reported on VIN News a few months ago, New York State troppers had assisted a couple in finding a wedding ring that was lost.