Putnam County: Email about rape likely a hoax

Despite claims in an alarming email that has been making the rounds among people in Southeast, there have been no reports of home invasion rapes in the area, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

The email, signed "Grace" without a last name, first appeared a few days ago and spread as alarmed neighbors forwarded it to others, cops said.

The email mentions "two or more break-ins and rapes" in the Gage Road neighborhood of Southeast and details the alleged crimes.


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"It's been such a terrible few weeks in our town, and I hate to spread more bad news, but I felt the need to let everyone know so we know not to let our guard down," the email reads.

Police didn't release the full text of the email or provide details on the headers or original email address. It's not clear how the sender would benefit from spreading claims of rapes and break-ins. Police did not say how many people received the email.

A voice mail was left Wednesday with Capt. William McNamara of the sheriff's office.

The office hasn't received any reports of rapes or home invasions in the Southeast area, and Sheriff Donald Smith said in a statement that detectives checked with neighboring and overlapping authorities, including State Police -- who operate several substations in the area -- and local departments.

"Naturally, while I always ask residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity, our citizens must be informed of bogus reports or misinformation concerning their safety," Smith said.

In his statement, Smith urged the author of the email to contact the sheriff's office, but he also warned that "absent any contact by the writer, we must believe that the information contained in this email is unfounded and possibly sent to cause undue stress and panic to those receiving it."

Anyone with information on the email or its origins can call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 845-225-4300.

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