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Crime Stoppers

A man, on left, is wanted for allegedly stealing a Maltipoo puppy, on right, from Selmer’s Pet Land in Huntington Station. Photos from SCPD

Suffolk County police 2nd Squad detectives are investigating the alleged theft of a puppy from a Huntington Station pet store April 9.

A man entered Selmer’s Pet Land, located at 125 East Jericho Turnpike, and allegedly stole a 3-month-old Maltipoo from the store at approximately 10:50 a.m. The dog is valued at approximately $2,500. The man fled on foot westbound on Jericho Turnpike then headed north on Poplar Avenue.

The man was described as black, in his mid-to-late 20s, approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall and had a mustache or goatee. He wore gray camouflage pants, a green hooded sweatshirt and a knit cap.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the 2nd Squad at 631-854-8252 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS (8477 ). All tips will remain anonymous.

Kevin Hauff’s mugshot. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County police have arrested a man who allegedly robbed a Medford gas station Feb. 23.

On Friday, a man, armed with a knife, entered BP gas station at 286 Expressway Drive South and demanded money at 7:55 p.m. The clerk complied and the man fled the scene in a Hyundai Tucson.

Sixth Squad detectives, acting on an anonymous tip received by Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS, located the suspect, Kevin Hauff, at his home in Coram Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10:19 p.m. Detectives charged Hauff, 30, with first-degree robbery. He will be held at the 6th Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Feb. 25.

File photo

Suffolk County Police Major Case Unit detectives are investigating a robbery that occurred at Suffolk Federal Credit Union in Commack July 5.

A man entered the bank, located at 6150 Jericho Turnpike, at 1:20 p.m. and demanded cash from a teller. The teller complied and gave the man cash from the drawer. The man fled on foot.

The suspect was described as white, in his late 40s to early 50s, approximately 5 feet, 5 inches to 5 feet, 6 inches tall with a thin build and salt and pepper hair. He was wearing a white tank top and blue jeans.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this robbery to call major case at 631-852-6555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

SCPD branch involves the community to help with tips for investigations and arrests

Drugs recovered thanks to tips from Crime Stoppers. File photo from SCPD

By Rebecca Anzel

During its 22-year partnership with the Suffolk County Police Department, Crime Stoppers has served as a way for residents to share tips about crime anonymously in their neighborhoods without fear of punishment, and has helped cut crime and aid myriad criminal investigations

The not-for-profit organization expanded its repertoire of resources to include a general tip line, 800-220-TIPS (8477); another tip hotline for information about drugs, 631-852-NARC (6272); a website and a number for text messaging. Since 1994, its 22,287 tips generated by community members helped solve 42 homicides, closed 1,688 active warrants and led to 2,154 arrests, as at October.

Crime Stoppers president Nick Amarr. Photo from Nick Amarr

For the organization’s work fighting crime and the heroin epidemic in Suffolk County, Crime Stoppers is one of Times Beacon Record News Media’s People of the Year for 2016.

Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) said the organization is indispensable to the community.

“Crime Stoppers is a valuable asset and has created a great partnership with our police department to reduce crime in Suffolk County,” she said in an email. “They work diligently to coordinate information from the public and the media to solve crime and make arrests. I am proud to support Crime Stoppers and appreciate the dedication of the police officers and volunteers who keep our communities safe.”

The organization is staffed by unpaid volunteers, most of whom are former law enforcement or veterans. President Nick Amarr, a Marine and Crime Stoppers volunteer for 14 years, said the organization’s real value is in providing residents with a safe way to help law enforcement protect their communities.

“It gives the public a voice and an understanding of how important law enforcement is in keeping our freedom and protecting our children,” Amarr said. “That’s very important to me and everyone on our board.”

Amarr also said Crime Stoppers’ employees would not be able to continue the work they have been doing without the support of Police Commissioner Tim Sini, First Deputy Commissioner John Barry and Police Chief Stuart Cameron. Amarr has worked with four administrations and said this one strategically embraces Crime Stoppers as a partner and has done more in less than 12 months than he has seen accomplished in the past 10 years.

Members at a Patchogue benefit concert present Crime Stoppers with a large check representing donations received. File photo from SCPD

“We have reinvested in our partnership with Suffolk Crime Stoppers,” Sini said. “It’s a great, great, great way we’re able to engage with the public and we’ve done a lot of good for the communities.”

The 8-month-old narcotics tip line alone had led to a 140 percent increase in the amount of search warrants issued by August; hundreds of drug dealers have been arrested; the police department has seized a substantial amount of money; and is on pace to confiscate more illegal firearms than ever before, according to Sini.

For Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue founder and president, Dori Scofield, whose son Daniel died in 2011 from a heroin overdose, the work Crime Stoppers is doing to combat the county’s heroin epidemic is invaluable.

“The only way we’re going to combat this epidemic is by working together in different forces and stopping the drugs in Suffolk County and helping our youth that are already addicted and educating children and parents,” Scofield said. “This epidemic takes a village to combat and our police and the Crime Stoppers are an important part of that village.”

Crime Stoppers is funded completely by donations, which it uses exclusively for rewards for tips leading to an arrest. In July, the organization hosted a benefit concert at The Emporium in Patchogue, raising $58,000 in one night. Amarr said it will host another fundraiser at the same venue next year.

Mike DelGuidice at a concert fundraiser. File photo from Rebecca Anzel

Teri Kroll, chairperson of People United to Stop Heroin, part of Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, spoke at the event in support of Crime Stoppers five months ago. Since then, she said she has heard that parents across Suffolk County call in information they hear from their children about drug dealers and unsavory activities in their communities.

“They’ve made a huge difference,” Kroll said. “The police department can’t fight all crime without any help and the Crime Stoppers being a liaison between the public and them is only a plus.”

Tracey Farrell, formerly Budd, a Rocky Point mother who lost her son Kevin to a heroin overdose in 2012, agrees the service Crime Stoppers provides is life saving to many kids.

“In the few months that it [NARC line] has been out, it has made a huge difference,” she said. “It’s nice that people see when they make a phone call, something is happening. I can’t say enough about how great this is.”

Farrell also said she thinks residents are less interested in the cash reward that comes after a reporting.

“I think they’re happy they have some place to report things going on in their own neighborhood,” she said. “[And Crime Stoppers] needs to keep getting information out there wherever they can.”

A North Shore resident locks his car before going into work. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

It may seem like a no-brainer, but according to the Suffolk County Police Department many North Shore residents are forgetting to lock their cars.

The department recently launched a new “Lock It or Lose It!” campaign aimed at encouraging residents to lock their parked vehicles.

Police Commissioner Tim Sini said the department is looking for the public’s help to bring down this type of petit crime.

“Every day, the hard-working men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department are out there in force doing their best to keep crime down,” he said in a statement. “Oftentimes, though, it is the partnership with the public that helps get us the results. The first line of defense is [to] lock your doors. Also, make sure if there are valuables in your car, they are not in plain view.”

Although it may seem simple, many Long Islanders are leaving their cars unlocked.

A periodic check of Suffolk County police reports will turn up dozens of incidents of items stolen out of unlocked cars parked in driveways, parking lots or other locations.

The department has partnered with Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and multiple television and radio stations to routinely broadcast a 30-second public service announcement during the next month to remind residents to lock their vehicles.

“Unlocked vehicles give criminals an additional bonus of stealing sensitive personal documents resulting in identity theft without a victim realizing the fact until it’s too late,” Crime Stoppers President Nick Amarr said in a statement. “The Lock it or Lose It campaign is a way to remind residents how they can help prevent becoming the victim of a crime.”

According to the department, most vehicle break-ins are crimes of opportunity, and if a vehicle is locked, a criminal will usually move on. Locking car doors should substantially decrease the likelihood of being victimized. Approximately 312 cars are targeted every month in Suffolk County, according to a statement from the police.

On the North Shore, cell phones, wallets, credit cards, cash, GPS, cell phone chargers, laptops and tablets are among the most common items taken when someone breaks into a car.

Campaigns just like Suffolk County’s are becoming the norm throughout the country, as police departments in many states try to remind residents they can help reduce crime in their neighborhoods.

Suffolk County Police arrested Patel Sanjaykumar for selling alcohol to a minor in Centereach on Aug. 17.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers received tips of alcohol being sold to minors at the Mobil gas station, located at 2033 Middle Country Road. Sixth Precinct Crime Control, working with an underage agent, conducted a check of the business in accordance with the New York State Liquor Authority. The employee, Sanjaykumar, sold an alcoholic beverage to the underage agent and was arrested.

Sanjaykumar, 28, of Babylon was charged with sale to a minor and issued a field appearance ticket for arraignment at a later date.

Benefit concert rakes in $55,000 for Suffolk County Crimestoppers

By Rebecca Anzel

The first thing Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron does when he gets to work each morning is check the communications section log, which tracks all significant events from the night before. More often than he would like, he reads that at least one young adult died from drug-related causes. And almost every time he is in a police car, he hears a call about an overdose on the radio.

“It is unprecedented — the opioid crisis affects everybody,” Cameron said over the sound of “Walking in Memphis” playing in the background. “We absolutely have to do something about it.”

The Emporium in Patchogue was filled with almost 600 people Thursday night, all there to listen to Billy Joel and Led Zeppelin cover bands, who were there to raise money for SCPD’s Crime Stopper’s four-month-old narcotics tip phone line, 631-852-NARC, which has already received nearly 900 tips — so much that the SCPD added detectives to investigate leads.

Teri Kroll lost her son Timothy to a heroin overdose in 2006. Photo by Rebecca Anzel
Teri Kroll lost her son Timothy to a heroin overdose in 2006. Photo from Teri Kroll

The original Suffolk County Crime Stoppers tip line generated a lot of helpful leads, Cameron said, but residents did not realize they could use the number to call in narcotics-related ones. Now, narcotic search warrants are up 100 percent this year, he said, and the amount of reward money given to those who called in tips leading to an arrest was higher than it had been in the past 20 years.

The benefit concert raised $55,000 in one night, all of which funds rewards. Donations are the sole way rewards are funded.

Michael DelGuidice, a Miller Place resident and front-man of Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot, said that the night’s concert was the right way to start fighting the county’s heroin epidemic, but stressed that it needs to be just the beginning of more action.

“As parents and fellow Long Islanders, we need to do something,” he said. “It’s going to be a fight, and it’s going to take a lot of collaboration, but we need to think of future fundraising efforts too.”

Teri Kroll’s son Timothy died at age 23 from a heroin overdose on Aug. 29, 2009. He became addicted to oxycodone after a doctor prescribed it to help alleviate the pain from his migraines. When his parents found out, they took the drugs from him and began the process of helping him recover, but they did not know he had turned to heroin.

The doctor, Seji Francis, was sentenced to six months in prison and deported after Timothy reported him to police. But during the process of helping her son and the detectives, his mother said there were no resources for her to turn to for help; no other mothers to call. There was a stigma around heroin addiction that there does not seem to be now.

“This event allows us to let our guard down, relax and know we’re doing a good thing at the same time.”–Teri Kroll

“The whole thing was hard on my family, but my son suffered the worst. Speaking out about this is my mom job for Timothy,” said Kroll, who is now the PUSH Coordinator for the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. “This event allows us to let our guard down, relax and know we’re doing a good thing at the same time.”

She added that if Timothy was at the event, he would be smiling and dancing with whoever was around him.

“The room was packed – and Michael DelGuidice gets it, and is willing to speak out on behalf of the disease of addiction and put his time an energy in the fight against what drives this epidemic – the drug dealers,” Kroll said. “The Suffolk County Police Department and Suffolk County Crime Stoppers have made it easy to report the dealers – proving zero tolerance in Suffolk County. We are attacking this epidemic from all sides, just what Timothy would have liked to see.”

Louis Iacona, president of Long Island Helps Recovery Initiation, said this event was a fun way to raise money and awareness about Suffolk County’s heroin problem. He struggled with the drug and found there were not a lot of resources available to help him recover.

“We need to smash this heroin epidemic to smithereens,” Iacona said.

Smithtown resident Nick Santoria, guitarist for Led Zeppelin cover band Zofolk, said the band was grateful to be invited to play at such an important event.

“We love to partake in such a great cause,” he said. “Crime Stoppers is doing such a great job and we wanted to help in any way we could.”

Residents can report tips or information regarding past crimes and drug dealing anonymously by calling 1-800-220-TIPS. Rewards of up to $5,000 will be issued.

Police are seeking help from the public to identify a man who damaged a glass door at the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. Photo from SCPD
Police are trying to identify a man who damaged a glass door at the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. Photo from SCPD

After hours boat rides are not allowed.

A glass door to the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, located at 102 West Broadway in Port Jefferson, was damaged by a man between 4:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. July 23, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

The suspect appears to be a white male in his 20s or 30s with short brown hair, medium build, seen wearing a gray shirt, gray shorts, black sneakers and a gold chain.

The police department is offering a cash reward up to $5,000 to anyone with information regarding the incident that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls remain confidential.

File photo.

A man was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning behind a restaurant on New York Avenue.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 39-year-old Francisco Palma was sitting in a car in a parking lot behind Melissa Restaurant, which is located near West Pulaski Road, at about 1 a.m. when an unknown person fired two shots at his vehicle.

Police said Palma, a Farmingdale resident, was hit in his left arm and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Huntington Hospital.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the squad at 631-854-8252, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

An armed robber who restrains victims before stealing cash has hit another location in Suffolk County, according to police.

The suspect entered Beach Bum Tanning in Huntington Station on Friday night with a handgun and forced two employees to the back of the store and then restrained them, the Suffolk County Police Department said. The man then took cash from the shop’s drawers.

Neither female employee was injured in the incident, police said, and there were no customers in the East Jericho Turnpike store at the time of the robbery, at about 8:30 p.m. But the crime was a familiar one.

Police have already been on the hunt for the suspect, who followed a similar routine at the Huntington Station Pier 1 Imports, also on East Jericho, on Nov. 22. In that armed robbery, the suspect restrained employees and customers at the back of the store, then made an employee open the shop’s safe and took cash from the registers.

The two crimes were similar to those that have taken place across Long Island since late August, including four robberies at women’s clothing stores in Suffolk County: on Sept. 7 in East Farmingdale, on Oct. 12 in West Babylon, on Oct. 26 in Deer Park and on Nov. 2 in North Lindenhurst.

The suspect in all of the armed robberies is described as black, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, and of a thin to medium build, police said. During the Pier 1 robbery, he was wearing a mask and a hoodie, but police said he was wearing a scarf and a hat during the Beach Bum Tanning robbery.

Detectives from the SCPD’s Pattern Crime Unit are investigating the incident and Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

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