Sowden was recognized for his work in nabbing 34-year-old Robert Connelly on Feb. 15 after allegedly breaking into the Frito-Lay warehouse at 18-67 Flushing Avenue in Ridgewood.
At the meeting, held at St. Pancras School in Ridgewood, Community Affairs Officer Thomas Bell said they were waiting for the perpetrator for some time before finally slapping on the cuffs and ending this bizarre sting of robberies.
“We actually took multiple reports for burglary at that location,” Bell said. “We sat and we waited for the individual to show up because he struck regularly.”
Lo and behold, just moments after Officer Sowden watched as Connelly opened the front gate to the factory, he was spotted carting out 14 cases of chips on a hand truck back into the parking lot near Flushing Avenue and Charlotte Street.
“We could see the individual who was committing these crimes on video,” Bell explained of the footage they attained from the chip factory. “We got together with Frito-Lay and monitored that location.”
The arrest was made around 12:15 a.m. on Friday morning.
Connelly, a Hart Street resident in nearby Bushwick, allegedly broke into six other Ridgewood warehouses committing similar thefts during the last year. According to police reports, 20 cases of chips and snack products, along with a handcart, were taken from the warehouse on April 12, 2012.
Six cases were also reportedly stolen from the location on Aug. 27, 2012.
Officer Sowden was not only given the award for making the arrest, but he was also able to tie Connelly to a number of other crimes for reportedly selling the merchandise to local bodegas in the neighborhood.