SWAT Team Deployed to Stella Apartments in Downtown New Rochelle

Drug dealer arrested with cash, forged documents, 44 rounds of .45 cal ammo, and a $100K BMW M5

SWAT Team Deployed to Stella Apartments in Downtown New Rochelle

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (November 18, 2022) — Two months ago, on September 19, the New Rochelle Police Tactical Unit responded to The Stella apartment building at 10 LeCount Place as part of an operation to apprehend a known drug dealer residing in the building under a lease agreement obtained with an identity stolen out of Illinois and serve a search warrant on the suspect’s apartment. Officers were dressed in full tactical gear, carrying breaching equipment and high-powered rifles.

The New Rochelle Police Tactical Unit responded to a “swatting” incident near City Hall on July 10, 2021
The New Rochelle Police Tactical Unit responded to a “swatting” incident near City Hall on July 10, 2021

Arrested in the operation was Marcus E. Vasquez, 27, then residing in New Rochelle but with connections to Yonkers. He was charged with Possession of a Forged Instrument - 2nd, a Class D felony and Identity Theft - 1st Degree, a Class D felony.

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Vasquez was arraigned later that day in New Rochelle City Court before Judge Eileen Songer McCarthy. He pleaded not guilty and was ROR’d. Vasquez has had subsequent appearances on October 3rd, October 17th, and November 3rd. He is next due back in court on November 28th.

Given the information contained in the police report and supplemental material, additional charges appear possible. According to police, Vasquez is a known drug dealer with a criminal history consisting of various drug and narcotic charges, including intent to sell. Law enforcement officers are seeking a warrant to open the cell phones to pull GPS data to track Vasquez’s movements.

The search warrant at the Stella was obtained because the police came to believe Vasquez was engaged in criminal activity in his apartment(s) at the Stella.

Recovered in the search of Vasquez’s apartment and on his person during his apprehension was a Stella 10 LeCount lease agreement in the name of an identity theft victim from Illinois, a Wells Fargo/VISA Credit/Debit card, a Capital One Debit card belonging to (redacted), a New York State ID and a Social Security card belonging to (redacted) and other identity documents including a New Jersey Drivers License, and a 2021 Blue BMW M5 (New Jersey tags: U5O RGJ), a high-performance vehicle with an MSRP of $105,495, a currency counting machine, 3 cell phones, a Macbook laptop and a box of.45 Caliber ammunition (the box holds 50 rounds, but there were only 44 inside) 2 New York State License Plates (HFZ ——) originally returned stolen out of Yonkers, NY, but then found to be valid, and $40,542 in US Currency on Vasquez’s person which was turned over to Department of Homeland Security Special Agents for asset sharing purposes.

After his arrest, Vasquez told investigators, somewhat implausibly, that he made his money through online investing and gambling.

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On June 8, 2022, New Rochelle Police responded to 10 Lecount Place (Stella), Apartment 10P for a report of a burglary. Upon arrival, Officers met with the victim, who identified himself as (redacted) and provided a date of birth of (redacted). The victim reported that over $20,000 of luxury clothing and footwear were stolen. Upon review of body camera footage, a currency counter was observed to be in plain view on the kitchen counter. Immediately following the burglary, the building's management moved the victim to apartment 18P.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This seems about the right point to explain my connection to the case. I reside on the 10th floor of 10 Lecount Place (Stella) in apartment 10G, just down the hall from Apartment 10P where Vasquez resided until a few months ago. I had frequent interaction with the person I now know to be Marcus Vasquez. I would seem him on the elevator or in the hallways, our dogs would interact prior to his relocation to Apartment 18P. I was unaware until today that Vasquez claimed his apartment down the hall was burglarized in June, that he was relocated to Apartment 18P by Stella management or that he was the target of surveillance in the building’s interior garage levels leading up to his arrest where I have been doing my own unrelated surveillance.

For many months, I have filed numerous complaint with Stella management and City officials about all manner of illegal parking in the Stella interior parking lots and documented these complaints with photographs and videos. Until very recently, these complaints were ignored. All vehicles in the garage must have a colored sticker affixed to their front windshield (Red = 2, Blue = 3, Yellow = 4) and a fob strip to open the garage door on the North Avenue side of the building

There have been so many illegally parked cars on the second floor (where I park) in the Stella garage since it opened earlier this year that it is common that all 42 spaces on the second floor are occupied rendering it impossible for tenants like me who pay $175 a month to park on an assigned floor to find an available parking space. The handicapped parking is routinely abused by able-bodied tenants. Many vehicles do not have a colored sticker nor a fob strip which begs the question how they are able to enter and exit the building if they cannot open the garage door, suggesting building employees are participating in illicit parking schemes. This is a different story for a different day but worth sharing to explain why I have photos of the Blue BMW M5 driven by Marcus Vasquez taken on November 12, almost two months after his arrest for using a false identity to obtain a Stella lease. The Stella management has yet to respond to my complaint filed last week, with photos, about how the Blue BMW M5 driven by Vasquez got in the garage.

I did not file a complaint because the vehicle belonged to Vasquez. I was unaware of the connection until today from the fulfillment of my FOIL request.

I complained because the vehicle had no fob strip and no colored sticker and was jammed in, but still sticking out, between two other cars in an area of the garage with three compact parking spots. There is no good explanation for how this vehicle even got into the garage because there was a security guard at the entrance to the garage.

As is often the case, the garage door on North Avenue was broken all last week, stuck in the open position. For months my security complaints about this door being left wide open, 24 hours a day, in the highest crime area in New Rochelle, were ignored. That ended when I published videos demonstrating how anyone could get anywhere in the building at any time, unobserved, due to non-existent security measures (for example, no CCTV cameras on any level of the garage and none in the 26 flights of stairwells on either side the building).

Since I published my videos, Stella management has occasionally put security guards at the garage door when the garage door is broken. Most recently the “guards” do not appear to be licensed security guards.

I might add, the doors are also often broken (stuck in the open position). It can take weeks to fix the doors and garage doors.

I spoke with the security guard last week, immediately after taking pictures of the Blue BMW M5 that apparently slipped past him with no colored sticker and no fob strip. I emailed Stella management. I have yet to receive a reply.

Learning today that this Blue BMW M5 was recently impounded by the New Rochelle Police Department as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, that the plates returned stolen in September but were still on the vehicle in November and that the owner obtained a Stella lease through identity fraud makes the presence of this vehicle in the Stella garage stupefying and begs the question whether Marcus Vasquez continues to reside in the Stella.

Getting back to his arrest, I had observed people sitting alone in vehicles on the second floor prior to Vasquez’s arrest. In hindsight, I expect they were NRPD Officers surveilling Vasquez.

Had it not been for Zeke, my English Bull Terrier, none of this information would have come to my attention — or that of my readers.

On the morning of September 19th, I left my apartment to take my dog for a walk. An elevator door opened. Inside, the elevator car was packed full with members of the New Rochelle Police Tactical Unit holding rifles and breaching equipment. I said “we’ll wait for the next one.” After I took Zeke for a walk, I emailed Captain Collins Coyne, the Public Information Officer for the New Rochelle Police Department and the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division.

What follows is my email exchange — shortened for brevity in some instances— with NRPD and the documents I received today pursuant to a Freedom of Information request.

From: Robert Cox

Date: On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 8:58 AM

Subject: Fwd: 10 LeCount police activity this morning

To: Collins Coyne


A few minutes ago I attempted to get on the elevator in my building, The Stella, and found about 10 police officers, and what appeared to be tactical gear on the elevator. Can you tell me what that was all about? Thank you.

Bob Cox

From: Robert Cox

Date: On Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 8:52 AM

Subject: Fwd: Re: 10 LeCount police activity this morning

To: Collins Coyne

Can I get an answer on this?


Bob Cox

From: Coyne, J.Collins

Date: On Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 10:12 AM

Subject: Fwd: RE: 10 LeCount police activity this morning

To: Robert Cox

We had an investigation into a possibly fraudulently rented apartment. The investigation led to a search warrant (which is what you saw that day) and the arrest of a resident: Marcus Vasquez – charged with PL 170.25 – Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd deg, and PL 190.80 Identity Theft 1st deg.

Captain J. Collins Coyne


Criminal Investigations Division

New Rochelle Police Department

From: Robert Cox

Date: On Tue, Oct 4, 2022 at 5:42 PM

Subject: Fwd: RE: 10 LeCount police activity this morning


This is a public records request. I would like to obtain the following records: The arrest referred below. Marcus Vasquez at 10 LeCount on 9/19/21

Robert Cox

Publisher and Managing Editor

Talk of the Sound

New Rochelle Police Department 475 North Ave

New Rochelle, NY 10801

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email request under the Freedom of Information Law dated October 4, 2022 and received on October 4, 2022 by the City of New Rochelle.

We will give you a further response within twenty (20) business days of the date the request was received. A follow-up response should be sent to you on or before November 2, 2022.


Date: On Fri, Nov 18, 2022 at 10:03 AM

Subject: Fwd: Marcus vasquez

To: Robert Cox

Good morning,

Please see the attached police report regarding Marcus Vasquez.

Thank you,


What follows is the Police narrative drawn from the above documents:

Members of the Special Investigations Unit, in conjunction with the Westchester County Police Department and Department of Homeland Security received a copy of the victim's lease agreement through a subpoena.

The Illinois driver's license used by the victim to lease the apartment, under the name (redacted) was listed with a date of birth of (redacted), contrary to the date of birth provided to Officers on the scene of the burglary. A query of the National Crime Information Center also revealed that the Illinois Driver's License, Number G271-3920 returns not on file. Furthermore, as employment information, the victim listed that he was a Finance Manager at "Broadway Auto Brokers", located at 591 South Broadway in Yonkers. The business was contacted and advised investigators that nobody by the name was nor had ever been employed there.

Officers were able to ascertain that the tenant of apartment 10P was actually Marcus Vasquez. Investigators then ascertained contact information for the identity theft victim from Illinois, who was contacted and wished to pursue charges against Vasquez for using his identity to lease an apartment. Furthermore, upon investigating Vasquez, it was discovered NRPD conducted a traffic stop on March 30, 2022, where Vasquez was the driver. Vasquez presented the Police Officer with his real NYS learner's permit, number 926-684.

Vasquez has a criminal history consisting of various drug and narcotic charges, some of which were listed with the intent to sell.

Given the fraudulent lease, suspicious nature of the burglary, the value of the proceeds taken and the observation of the currency counter on the night of the burglary, officers believed the apartment was being used for criminal activity.

Investigators conducted surveillance on the apartment building and its internal elevated garage.

On September 9, 2022, an NRPD Officer observed Vasquez park the Blue BMW M5 (New Jersey tags: U5O RGJ) and enter the building. He carried in some bags, stayed for approximately 45 minutes and then left.

The vehicle was tracked through license plate readers and showed consistent hits exiting New Rochelle in the morning, traveling throughout Yonkers and then entering the Bronx. The vehicle would not usually return until the following morning during early hours. Review of the building's internal cameras also captured Vasquez entering and exiting the building and taking the elevators to the 18th Floor.

A search warrant for the apartment and Vasquez’s person was submitted by Westchester County Police Department and signed by Judge Jared R. Rice on Friday, September 16th. The warrant commanded officers to search apartment 18P and seize any evidence pertaining to identity theft crimes, including but limited to personal identity documents, financial institution records, cell phones and laptops. The preliminary operation plan was to execute the warrant on September 19 between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

At about 5 a.m. on September 19th, an NRPD Officer observed the target vehicle to be parked in the building's parking garage. Three other officers responded and continued surveillance on it, with the plan of detaining Vasquez when he got into it. At about 7 a.m. an NRPD Officer advised that Vasquez was getting into his vehicle. He was successfully stopped and detained and upon searching his person and vehicle, $40,542 in US Currency was recovered along with 3 cell phones, a New York State ID and a Social Security card belonging to (redacted) and a Capital One Debit card belonging to (redacted).

Vasquez advised Officers that his uncle was in the apartment, but there were no weapons or contraband inside.

Officers responded to the building, notified management and assembled in the hallway outside of apartment 18P. Upon knocking on the door, a male Hispanic, who is now known to be (redacted) answered the door. (redacted) was detained and advised that a search warrant was being conducted of the residence. Vasquez and “the uncle” were transported to headquarters and placed in holding cells pending the results of the search warrant.

On Thursday September 9, 2022 at approximately 5 p.m. an NRPD Officer conducting surveillance of Vasquez observed a Blue BMW MS bearing New Jersey registration heading south on North Avenue. Due to the vehicle being heavily tinted the officer could not see the occupants. The vehicle continued south and turned left into the 10 LeCount parking garage. At this time, another NRPD officer was inside the parking lot conducting surveillance. The trailing Officer was advised to enter the parking garage by the Officer inside the garage who stated the vehicle passed him on the second floor and went up towards the third floor. The trailing Officer observed a male black wearing a dark t-shirt, standing behind the vehicle with the trunk open next to a younger child believed to be “our suspect’s” child (suggesting a second suspect). As he turned around to surveil the vehicle, on the third floor he observed a Hispanic male with a goatee wearing a pink hooded sweat shirt standing by the previously mentioned male, child and vehicle. The Officer knew this Hispanic male to be Marcus Vasquez based on a Criminal History search, DMV photo, license search, body camera footage and social media accounts. A few minutes later, the vehicle exited the parking garage heading north on North Avenue. The trailing officer followed the vehicle until it exited the city from Cedar Street onto 1-95 Southbound at which point surveillance was concluded.

The Officer inside the garage observed a blue BMW M5 bearing a New Jersey License Plate enter the elevated parking garage at 10 Lecount Place. Shortly thereafter, he advised that he observed the primary target of this case, Marcus Vasquez, standing next to the vehicle.

About 30 minutes later, the Officer observed the vehicle exit the elevated parking garage at 10 Lecount Place and travel Northbound on North Avenue. The Officer was able to pull in front of the vehicle and observe Marcus Vasquez to be driving based on Criminal History photographs, a DMV Photo, social media posts and body camera footage.

The vehicle proceeded Northbound on North Avenue, turned Eastbound onto Garden Street, North onto Cedar street and then entered I-95 Southbound. Surveillance was then concluded.

Upon executing the warrant, seized was the previously observed currency counter, the fraudulent Illinois ID, smart phones, a Macbook laptop and a box of.45 Caliber ammunition: the box holds 50 rounds, but there were only 44 inside. Also seized were 2 NY License Plate (HFZ ——) originally returned stolen out of Yonkers, NY, but were then found to be valid) and a Wells Fargo Visa Card, belonging to (redacted).

All seized property was photographed in place and then packaged appropriately.

Interviews were conducted with Vasquez and “the uncle”. Both stated that Vasquez makes his money through online investments and gambling. Furthermore, both stated that the apartment was leased through a stolen identity because Vasquez has bad credit. Neither party claimed ownership of the recovered ammunition and both claimed that they did not know that it was there.

Vasquez stated that he obtained the identity and lease through a contact he had made through "Offerup", but refused to provide me with further information.

OfferUp is an online mobile-first consumer to consumer marketplace with an emphasis on in-person transactions. It was founded as a competitor to Craigslist.

Vasquez was booked fingerprinted, photographed, arraigned and released on his own recognizance.

The “uncle” was released without incident.

All seized property was logged into property and evidence, with exception to the currency, which was turned over to the Department of Homeland Security Special Agents for asset sharing purposes.

Investigators attempted to make contact with the name on the Wells Fargo Visa Card, the New York State License, the Social

Security Card and the Capital One Debit Card. All attempts yielded negative results at this time.

The Blue BMW M5 was impounded and a hold was put on it until contact was made with the registered owner.

The registered owner stated that he gave his son's friend permission to register the vehicle in his name due to credit score purposes. The registered owner declined to pursue charges of any kind in regard to this matter. A statement and owner's deposition was mailed to him.

As of what appears to be October 13, NRPD Officers were in contact with the Westchester County District Attorney's Office regarding obtaining search warrants for the contents of the seized electronic devices and for the GPS coordinates of the vehicle's travels.


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