BEDFORD, N.Y. ? As 2012 draws to a close, The Bedford Daily Voice is recapping some of the biggest stories of the past year .
In September, after a lengthy investigation by Bedford police with assistance from county, state and federal agencies, 22-year-old Bartek Zajkowski of Queens was charged with attempted robbery and extortion in connection with a May 5 home invasion in Bedford Hills.
At 9:41 p.m., Bedford police responded to a 911 call from a female reporting an intruder inside her 135 Broad Brook Road home.
Zajkowski, who had worked for a contractor at the home in 2010, approached the house looking for valuables, police said. Dressed in black and wearing a mask, he allegedly tied up the husband at gunpoint and engaged in a struggle with the wife, then fled with the husband’s wallet.
Multiple agencies responded to remove residents from the home and search for suspects in the area.
On May 7, police responded to a barn fire, which they suspected to be arson , on the same property. Then, on May 14 and 17, the family received two extortion letters demanding $1 million for each of their three children in return for the family's safety. In the letters, Zajkowski allegedly claimed responsibility for the barn fire.
On June 1, the FBI arrested Zajkowski on a warrant charging him with a September 2011 home invasion in Ridgefield, Conn. On Sept. 13, he was brought into federal court in White Plains and charged with one count each of attempted robbery, attempted extortion and mailing threatening communications.