On December 28, 2022, the Watervliet Police Department investigated a complaint from a 75-year-old resident who was approached by the defendant, Joseph N. Celeone, who falsely stated he worked for the City of Watervliet. Celeone informed the victim that their driveway was in violation of Watervliet City Code and would result in fines if not immediately repaired. As a result, the victim reluctantly agreed to pay Celeone $3,000 for unnecessary repairs.
Watervliet Police charged Celeone, a 40-year-old male (photo attached) from Troy with Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree (Class E Felony) and Criminal Impersonation in the 2nd Degree (Class A Misdemeanor).
Celeone was arraigned in Watervliet City Court and released on an appearance ticket.
“This offender demonstrated a shamelessness that is often a routine characteristic of criminals that target vulnerable populations in our communities,” said Watervliet Police Chief Joseph Centanni. “We commend the victim for notifying police which was pivotal in helping the department locate the defendant and prevent him from adding someone else to his list. The Watervliet Police Department will continue to relentlessly pursue the felons responsible for these morally evil acts and bring them to justice,” concluded Centanni.
As a reminder to the community, in standard practice, legitimate government representatives do NOT offer services and/or ask for payment to correct code violations. In cases similar to this one, scammers defraud and intimidate victims with time-sensitive demands that are professionally executed.
Detectives are attempting to determine if Celeone has victimized (or attempted to victimize) other people under similar circumstances. Anyone with information is urged to contact Watervliet Police Detectives at 518-270-3892.