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Police

Donald Gennarelli was charged with 14 counts of larceny, once at a McDonald's on Route 25A in Miller Place. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police today arrested Donald Gennarelli for committing multiple larcenies from 14 Suffolk County stores over the past two months.

Officers from the 3rd Precinct Crime Section initiated an investigation to multiple larcenies occurring within the area, and discovered that similar larcenies had occurred in other precincts.

The suspect would engage the teller and appear to purchase a product, and when the teller opened the register he would jump over the counter and take money.

Detectives from the Major Case United were assigned to the investigation, and the joint investigation resulted in 3rd Precinct Crime Section Officers Joseph Passantino, and Matthew Fernandez arresting Gennarelli in Islip on Aug. 17.

Gennarelli was charged with larcenies from the following businesses:

  • Dunkin Donuts, located at 411 Furrows Road, Holbrook, June 16.
  • Dunkin Donuts, located at 19 Bay Shore Road, Bay Shore on June 18.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 280 Sunrise Highway, North Lindenhurst on July 1.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 155 Sunrise Highway Lindenhurst on July 4.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 529 East Main Street, Bay Shore on July 5.
  • CVS located at 15 West Main Street, East Islip on July 6.
  • 7-11 located at 500 Islip Avenue, Islip, on July 9.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 13 West Main Street, East Islip, on July 11.
  • McDonald’s, located at 4498 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale on July 12.
  • Dunkin Donuts, located at 13 West Main Street, East Islip on July 18.
  • 7-11 located at 4506 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale on July 25.
  • CVS located at 1944 Deer Park Avenue, Deer Park, on July 27.
  • Subway located at 1105 Horseblock Road, Medford on August 1.
  • McDonald’s, located at 340 Route 25A Miller Place on August 2.

The suspect was charged with 14 counts of petit larceny and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He was held overnight at the 3rd Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned today at First District Court in Central Islip.

The investigation is ongoing.

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.

Two German shepherds are joining the force.

15-month-old Dallas V and 19-month-old Maverick, who were bred in Europe, have been training with the Suffolk County Police Department for one month and are close to graduation.

The two new patrol dogs are expected to complete training in November, which covers criminal apprehension, evidence recovery, obedience and tracking. These new additions to the team were announced recently at a press conference held at the Suffolk County Police Department Headquarters in Yaphank.

Drug busts are becoming more common in Suffolk County. Above, drugs and other items seized during one such bust. File photo

It is no secret that Suffolk County, New York State and the United States as a whole have a rapidly growing opioid, and especially, heroin problem on their hands. Suffolk County is frequently sited as one of the places in New York most susceptible to drug busts and overdoses. It is a complex problem that sometimes feels like plugging holes in a sinking ship with bubble gum to lawmakers and uniformed police officers charged with lessening the impact of drugs on the community.

To the Suffolk County Police Department’s credit, they haven’t shied away from trying some outside the box methods to combat heroin and opioid addiction. In April, Suffolk County Crime Stoppers launched an anonymous narcotics tip phone line to help enlist the community in rooting out drug users and sellers in their vicinity.

The tip line helped lead to the arrest, in June, of two brothers living in Mount Sinai who had a treasure trove of weaponry, bomb-making instructions, cash and drugs in their home. In July, 24 people were arrested in connection with a drug ring in Hauppauge that yielded four kilograms of heroin and fentanyl.

The success of the hotline, which has received more than 900 calls since its inception, proves that the onus is on all of us to do our part in alleviating our community’s drug problem.

The department hosted a benefit concert at The Emporium in Patchogue July 28 to raise money for rewards given to those who provide tips to the hotline that result in arrests, and it’s imperative that we continue to support this resource as it has already proven its worth. That’s not to say that without the reward money, you shouldn’t say something if you see something. Community members hold most of the power in their hands to help our officers in cleaning up our streets.

Until we as a community recognize that this is a problem for everyone, even if the overdosing teen down the street isn’t a family member, the bubble gum approach will not stop the ship from sinking.

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.

Suffolk County Police arrested a Smithtown man on Friday morning for driving without an interlock device and without a license after he was pulled over for speeding on the Long Island Expressway in Farmingville.

Highway Patrol Bureau Police Officer Howard Dwyer, who was on patrol as part of the Selective Intensified Traffic Enforcement team, was driving on the west Long Island Expressway, east of exit 62, when he saw a Anthony Cook, 30,  in a 2008 Chevrolet drive past his vehicle at a high rate of speed without break lights at about 8 a.m.

Officer Dwyer pulled the vehicle over and it was later determined Cook’s license had been revoked seven times. The driver was charged with operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle for failure to pay child support and was issued several summonses including one for speeding.

Cook, a Smithtown resident was released on bail, according to police.

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In a celebration on the July Fourth weekend, a Black Lives Matter banner is dedicated. Pictured are, Racial Concerns committee co-chairs Kay Aparo and Barbara Coley, Janet Hanson, John Lutterbee and Sara Lutterbee. Photo by Barbara Coley

It certainly has not been a quiet two weeks in America. A shooting in Dallas, Texas, resulted in the death of five police officers, and the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minn., have sparked a national conversation, with many people on social media finding themselves in between #BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter.

Supporting #BlackLivesMatter doesn’t make someone anti-police, and responding to #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter does nothing to address the reasons the movement started in the first place. The same goes for killing police officers.

Yet every time a new video surfaces showing a young black male being detained, and in some cases killed by police, or another story of an attack on a uniformed officer comes to light, finger-pointing and politically motivated, unproductive talk ensues for as long as the given news cycle will allow.

There is one important question that needs to be answered and given substantial thought by every person in the United States, so that we can decide what kind of a country we want to be. It is also important to note that asking questions of your government or law enforcement does not mean you are against them.

But why do we see interactions between African-Americans and police officers frequently start at a place of such heightened tension? How is it that we continue to see citizens of our country killed by the people entrusted with protecting them, and how do we fix it?

Just like any relationship, this one is a two-way street that needs reflection and cooperation from both sides to provide any hope of one day fixing it. We believe it would serve America well to look past the conversation of #AllLivesMatter. This phrase would not have started without #BlackLivesMatter, which came to the forefront because of violent incidents in this country. We need to look at why these events took place, if we want to try to fix what many citizens now think is a national problem.

File photo.

A 20-year-old man was walking across Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station on Wednesday night when he was hit by a car. He was transported to Huntington Hospital with serious head injuries.

The victim was walking north across Jericho Turnpike at the intersection of Oakwood Road when he was struck by a 2007 Lexus that was driving east on Jericho Turnpike last night at approximately 9 p.m.

The 20-year-old was transported to the hospital by Huntington Community First Aid Squad and was later transferred to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. The name of the pedestrian is being withheld pending notification of the family.

The driver of the Lexus, Gerard Marrone, 42, of Huntington Station, was transported to Huntington Hospital with minor injuries.

The vehicle was impounded for safety checks and Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are investigating the crash. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact the Second Squad at 631-854-8252.

 

File photo

Police assisted a Commack man on Sunday afternoon after he could not get back onto his boat and was struggling in the water in the Long Island Sound, a mile and a half north of Eaton’s Neck Point.

At about 4:30 p.m. on July 12, police said Russell Giannotti and his wife Kim Giannotti anchored their boat to fish when their fishing line became tangled in the boat’s propeller. Giannotti, 63, went overboard to clear the tangled line. When he attempted get back on the boat, his boarding ladder broke and he became stranded in the water. His wife threw him a life jacket and a rope but he was unable to put the life jacket on while in the water — although he was able to hold on to it for flotation. The Commack resident ended up becoming entangled in the rescue rope and started to struggle in the water.

A passing boater observed Giannotti in distress and called 911. The boater was unable to assist due to choppy sea conditions, but was able to give the victim’s location to police dispatchers. Two Marine Bureau vessels, a Suffolk County Police helicopter, the U.S. Coast Guard and Huntington Harbormaster Marine 3 responded to the search area.

Marine Bureau Section Officers Christopher DeFeo and Anthony Sangimino responded in Marine Bravo and were the first rescuers on scene. They were directed to the victim’s location via Marine VHF radio by the nearby boater, and once they positioned their boat close to Russell, they threw him a life ring, and pulled him aboard the Marine Bravo. On board, the officers treated him for exposure and transported him to the Soundview Boat Ramp in Northport, where they were met by rescue personnel from the Northport Fire Department. Giannotti refused medical attention for exposure and minor abrasions.

Huntington Harbormaster Marine 3 took the victim’s boat in tow. The victim was eventually reunited with his boat and his wife, and both were able to return to Huntington Harbor, on their boat, without assistance.

A 40-year-old woman from Huntington Station was shot on Wednesday, July 6 just before 11:30 p.m.

Lanise Felder was walking on Craven Avenue towards 10th Avenue in Huntington Station when police said she thought she heard a firecracker explode and then felt tingling in her lower leg and realized she had been shot about four inches above her ankle.

Felder, 40, was transported by a family member to Huntington Hospital, where she contacted police and received treatment for her injury.

The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about the incident, or about a black SUV, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder, that was seen leaving the scene of the shooting, to contact the Second Squad at 631-854-8252 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

 

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