Blotter: Riverhead man charged in string of car break-ins

Southold Town police arrested a Riverhead man in connection with a string of car break-ins reported across the North Fork last week.

According to police reports, between six and nine vehicles were broken into along Route 25 in the Southold and Greenport areas last Sunday and Monday. A slew of items were reported stolen, including purses, a backpack, iPad, loose change and a “lucky $1 bill,” reports said.

Several others reported that their vehicles had been rummaged through, but nothing was taken.

According to police Chief Martin Flatley, Walter Juarez Nunez, age unavailable, was arrested for two counts of petit larceny last Monday and released on an appearance ticket. Chief Flatley said it appears Mr. Nunez was on foot and going through unlocked vehicles stealing cash and change and is believed to be responsible for all the larcenies, though police are still investigating.

Police are reminding residents to lock their car doors and remove any valuables from their vehicle. “There is rarely force used to break into locked vehicles in these types of larcenies,” Chief Flatley said.

• Police and Greenport Fire Department were called to a report of a brush fire in the area of Ninth Street in Greenport Friday afternoon.

Officials determined the smoke was coming from an encampment in the woods, where a group of homeless men were cooking food in a controlled fire pit.

Police spoke with a 39-year-old man who refused assistance and declined to stay at a shelter, adding the encampment appears “to have been set up for a few years now.”

• A 29-year-old Massapequa woman was stopped for driving the wrong way in the eastbound lane of Route 48 in Cutchogue Saturday night.

The woman was stopped shortly before 11 p.m. and reportedly told police she was talking to a friend via Bluetooth about how her Valentine’s weekend was ruined and was so distraught and unfamiliar with the area, she didn’t realize she was in the wrong lane.

According to a police report, the woman was “very apologetic, crying and upset” when she was stopped and did not appear to be intoxicated.

• Detectives are investigating after a home on Nokomis Road was burglarized twice last week.

The 81-year-old homeowner called police last Monday after noticing objects moved around in the basement. Further investigation revealed numerous copper pipes had been cut and removed from the basement.

Additional pipes were reported stolen from the residence Friday and police assisted the homeowner in placing a lock on the basement door, reports said.

• An electrician’s van containing $25,000 to $30,000 worth of tools and electrical stock was stolen from a driveway along Route 25 in Cutchogue sometime between 10:30 p.m. last Sunday and 7 a.m. last Monday morning.

According to a report, the vehicle was left unlocked with the keys inside and detectives are investigating the incident.

• Several vehicle batteries were also reported stolen last week.

A battery was reported stolen from a vehicle along Route 25 in Mattituck Friday morning.

Police were also called last Monday afternoon after a 55-year-old man discovered that three batteries were cut from vehicles along Route 48 in Mattituck. Detectives were notified about both incidents.

• An Apple Watch was reportedly stolen from a UPS package delivered to a home on Sound Road in Greenport last Monday afternoon.

Another Greenport resident called police last Monday to report that a DVD player he ordered was missing from a package delivered to his home on August Lane.

• Police were called to the Soundview Inn in Greenport Friday after a hotel guest reported property had been stolen from his room.

A police report did not specify what items were stolen and detectives are still investigating.

• Cutchogue Fire Department extinguished a small debris fire that broke out at Mattituck Environmental Services Saturday afternoon.

The cause of the fire was undetermined and no injuries were reported, officials said.

• Police were called to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Wood Lane in Peconic shortly after midnight Sunday.

An officer spoke with a 53-year-old resident who said he was outside in his driveway streaming shows on his cell phone after an argument with his wife.

• A 52-year-old Cutchogue man reported a case of identity theft to police Friday after receiving a bill for more than $6,000 for an AT&T account that he never opened.

Detectives were notified about the incident and the man was advised to register for credit monitoring.

• A 51-year-old Southold man called police to report hearing gunshots in the area of Hilltop Path Saturday around 9 p.m.

Police officers and a K-9 officer canvassed the area with negative results, reports said.

• An 89-year-old Laurel man reported that an unknown person accessed his bank account, made several fraudulent charges and attempted to open another account in his name last week. Detectives were notified about the incident, which was reported to police last Wednesday.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.

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