Police & Fire

Curbing a DWAI
Police arrested a 20-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station for driving while ability impaired on Dec. 15, after they saw him drive over a curb on Wilson Avenue and pulled him over.

Hitting the trifecta
A 31-year-old Medford man was arrested for driving while ability impaired on Dec. 17 after he failed to maintain his lane and struck a grassy median while speeding on Lincoln Drive in Rocky Point. Police said the man was going 70 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone in a 1998 GMC.

Wanted woman
On Dec. 16, police collared a Wading River woman who had five warrants out for her arrest. At the time officers found her on Babylon Drive in Sound Beach, the 26-year-old was also allegedly in possession of a controlled substance, and was charged with that crime.

That sucks
Police arrested a 28-year-old man from Lake Grove for petit larceny on Dec. 16, right after he stole two vacuums from a store at the Centereach Mall.

Police observed a woman in a hand-to-hand drug transaction on Route 25A in Selden on Dec. 18, and stopped the 55-year-old before she could pull away in her 2002 Cadillac. Officers found heroin in her possession and arrested her for criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Caffeine fiend
On Dec. 18, a 69-year-old man from Centereach was arrested for petit larceny. According to police, the man entered the Shoprite on College Road in Selden on Sept. 15 and took a Keurig Coffee Maker worth around $190.

Vroom vroom to jail
Police arrested a 29-year-old Ronkonkoma man on Dec. 13 for driving while ability impaired, after the suspect failed to maintain his lane while driving a 2008 Volkswagen south on Nicolls Road in Stony Brook. Police said the man was speeding, at 62 miles per hour.

Unwarranted steal
A 27-year-old woman from Port Jefferson Station was arrested for petit larceny on Dec. 18, after stealing assorted costume jewelry, clothing and other items from a store on Route 347 in Setauket-East Setauket. According to police, there were already two unrelated warrants out for the woman’s arrest.

Cashing in
Between Dec. 13 and Dec. 15, an unknown person withdrew more than $200 cash from a bank without the Port Jefferson Station cardholder’s permission.

That’s a big dog
On Dec. 19, an unknown person entered the Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket and stole a television and a dog bed. Police said the person may have used the dog bed to conceal the TV.

In hot water
An unidentified person stole three faucets from the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook on Dec. 18.

Taking it to-go
On Dec. 18, three unknown men with guns entered the Peking Chinese Kitchen on Middle Country Road in Selden as someone was closing the restaurant. The men demanded money but the suspects fled empty-handed.

Visa revoked
On Dec. 19, someone stole a jacket, a wallet and a person’s visa from a car in the Starbucks parking lot on Middle Country Road in Selden.

Rock on Tree
According to police, an unidentified person threw a large rock at a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer and damaged the car. Police didn’t specify where the car was damaged but said the incident happened some time between Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 on Tree Road in Centereach.

Tired of theft
An unknown person gained entry to the Mavis Discount Tire on Route 25A in Mount Sinai and stole money from the register before fleeing the store. The incident happened on Dec. 14 around 8:25 p.m.

On Dec. 19, someone smashed the back window of a 2009 Honda outside a residence on Deepdale Drive in Rocky Point.

Police are in purse-uit
An unidentified person stole someone’s bag from the Walmart at the Centereach Mall on Dec. 19. Police said the victim put the bag down and walked away. When they returned, the bag was gone. According to police, the bag contained money and an ATM card.

Lest we forget the Lexus
On Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. police said an unknown person stole a 2015 Lexus parked on Jericho Turnpike in Elwood.

Climbing in your windows
Police said an unknown person entered a 2015 Jeep with a window open in the parking lot of Eastern Athletic Club on Jericho Turnpike in Dix Hills on Dec. 18 at midnight and stole an iPad and credit cards.
On Dec. 18 a 50-year-old man from Wyandanch was arrested for a previous incident that occurred sometime between June 17 and 18. Police said he broke through a window at a residence on May Street in Huntington Station and stole electronics. He was charged with second-degree burglary.

Painted love
On Dec. 19 an 18-year-old man from Huntington was arrested for multiple graffiti incidents. According to police, he spray painted several vehicles parked on Stewart Avenue in Huntington and a wall on the exterior of a Payless Shoe store on New York Avenue in Huntington on Nov. 26 and 27 around midnight. He was charged with making graffiti.

Honda hijacked
A 22-year-old from East Northport was arrested on Dec. 16 after police said he took a 1998 Honda without permission at 2:30 a.m. and then hit a pole with the car while driving on Cuba Hill Road in Huntington and then fled the scene. He was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

If only it was a candy cane
An 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old man from Huntington were arrested on Dec. 19 at 3 a.m. after police said they hit a man in the head with a cane and stole his money on Fairview Street in Huntington and then tried to flee the scene. When searched, the men were discovered to have gravity knives and marijuana in their possession. They were charged with resisting arrest, unlawful possession of marijuana, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree robbery with use of a dangerous instrument.

Jag at the Jag Salon
At Jag Salon on Wall Street in Huntington on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. an unknown person entered the business through an unlocked window and stole money.

Taken: Tools edition
Police said a 38-year-old man from Holbrook stole assorted power tools from Home Depot in East Islip at 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 17. He was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny valuing property of more than $1,000.

Minor problem
A 45-year-old man from Commack was arrested on Dec. 18 after police said he sold beer to a minor at a food market on Laurel Road in East Northport at 7:30 p.m. He was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.

Gone in a blink of an eye
On Dec.19 at noon at Blink Fitness on Broadhollow Road in Elwood police said an unknown person stole a wallet with credit cards inside of it from an unlocked locker inside the gym.

Dry cleaners cleaned out
On Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. an unknown person broke a window of Parkmore Dry Cleaning on New York Avenue in Huntington and stole money.

Of-fenced taken
A 16-year-old from Holbrook was arrested on Dec. 19 at 10:40 p.m. after police said he was trespassing on the property of United Fence and Guard Rail Corporation in Ronkonkoma and damaged the windows of five vehicles. He was charged with third-degree criminal mischief valued at more than $250 and first-degree criminal trespassing.

Dissed on Craigslist
Police said a resident of Mount Pleasant Road in Smithtown reported that on Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. someone used counterfeit money to pay for a transaction done through Craigslist.

Blurred lines
On Dec. 19 a 29-year-old man from East Setauket was arrested at 2 a.m. after police pulled him over for making an illegal left turn while driving a 2002 Chevy on East Main Street and then discovering he was driving drunk. He was charged with driving while intoxicated within 10 years of being convicted for a previous DWI.

Illegal use of legal papers
A woman reported to police that an unknown man followed her into her driveway on Roderick Court in Commack on Dec. 17 at 2:35 p.m. and threw legal papers in her face and ran off.

On tree down on Acorn Road
Police said a 51-year-old man from St. James crashed a 2014 Lexus into a tree while driving on North Country Road and Acorn Road at 10:50 p.m. on Dec. 17 and then discovered he was drunk. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated within 10 years of being convicted for a previous DWI.

Tool stealing stools
Police said a 38-year-old man from Holbrook stole assorted power tools from Home Depot in East Islip at 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 17. He was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny valuing property of more than $1,000.

Minor mistake
A 45-year-old man from Commack was arrested on Dec. 18 after police said he sold beer to a minor at a food market on Laurel Road in East Northport at 7:30 p.m. He was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.

Don’t phone home
Police said a man called on Dec. 19 at 1:49 p.m. to report that an ex-tenant from a residence on Karen Place in Commack was calling continuously and threatening the man.

This stinks
On Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m. an unknown person stole assorted cologne and perfumes from Ulta Beauty on Veterans Memorial Highway in Commack.

Kohl’s woes
An unknown person stole assorted clothing and jewelry from Kohl’s on Crooked Hill Road in Commack on Dec. 18 at 1:42 p.m.

The Doors
On Dec. 18 at 7 a.m. an unknown person entered a residence through a back door on Harned Road in Commack and stole assorted jewelry and a television.

Retired tires
On Dec. 17 at 1:20 p.m. an unknown person slashed two tires of a 1989 Acura parked in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven on Lake Avenue in St. James.

Friends, family and town officials gather to remember Maggie Rosales, Danny Carbajal and Sarah Strobel in Huntington Station on Thursday. Three trees were planted in their honor. Photo by Mary Beth Steenson Kraese

Huntington residents are calling on their elected officials to change the way their Public Safety Department operates.

At a Dec. 8 town board meeting, residents said former Suffolk County Chief of Detectives Dominick Varrone, who is a consultant for the town department, is not necessary as the town’s connection to the 2nd Police Precinct to increase safety and control crime.

The Huntington Town Board hired Varrone as the town liaison to the police department in 2014 and gave a $50,000 budget to his company, Varron Solutions LLC, to provide consulting services and act as the town’s contact with the police, community leaders and social services agencies. The business was also required to assist in restructuring Public Safety to better protect and control crime in the Huntington Station community — the main reason the town hired Varrone.

But residents are saying Varrone isn’t essential to reducing crime.

According to Huntington Matters member Robert Rockelein, Varrone hasn’t been very active in his role to increase safety in the town.

“The Huntington Matters and the Huntington Matters Neighborhood Watch have not seen or heard of any policy, procedure or project initiated or influenced by Dominick Varrone over the last year,” Rockelein said during the meeting, speaking for the two civic groups.

He added that his organization attends meetings regarding safety in Huntington, but he has seen Varrone at only a handful of those meetings.

Other residents said the town doesn’t need Varrone at all.

“I think $50,000 a year for Dominick … we could spend $50,000 somewhere else,” Jim McGoldrick, a Huntington Station resident, said during the meeting. “We could spend it on our children, on a drug program or something like that.”

He also said 2nd Precinct Commanding Officer Christopher Hatton is doing a good enough job on his own when it comes to the town’s safety.

The town hired Varrone in November 2014, after a series of murders in Huntington Station and subsequent demands and fears from residents regarding security. Maggie Rosales, one of the victims, was stabbed to death in Huntington Station that October, a few blocks from her home.

Huntington Matters was also born out of that series of incidents, with the goal of facilitating better communication between the government, the community and the police.

Despite resident comments on Dec. 8, Huntington Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Varrone works closely with police and other agencies to address safety concerns and crime in the area.

Councilman Eugene Cook (I) was the only board member to vote against extending Varrone’s contract into 2016. He said Varrone’s sparse appearances as the town’s liaison swayed his decision.

“I think Dominick is doing a good job, but he needs the presence,” Cook said in a phone interview. He added that safety within the town is important to him, and he planned to meet with Varrone to discuss improving his presence in the community.

Varrone did not return messages seeking comment.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, second from right, calls for a federal monitor to oversee the county police department in the wake of recent scandals. Photo from Suffolk County Republicans

North Shore lawmakers are calling on the federal government to keep a closer watch on the county police department.

At a press conference last week, Suffolk County Legislators Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) and Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) stood beside Republican minority leader Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) at the William Rogers Legislature Building in Hauppauge to call for heightened oversight of the Suffolk County Police Department via a federal monitor. Their pleas came in light of a recent investigation and indictment of former county Police Chief James Burke, who was accused of beating a handcuffed suspect and attempting to cover up the crime.

During the press conference, numerous members of the Republican Caucus made it clear that both Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) and Tim Sini needed to speak up about what they know — if anything — regarding the alleged malfeasance of the department, given that their positions were so intimately tied to its internal mechanisms.

Trotta said that as more facts related to Burke roll out, it has become more apparent that the problem needs to be addressed by a federal monitor. He and his colleagues argued that federal involvement would allot the best resources available to the investigation and also instill an element of objectivity.

“I want the monitor to come in to make sure that everything in the internal affairs department is running correctly,” Trotta said at the press conference. “I want the monitor to come in and say that the person appointed to be police commissioner is qualified.”

Bellone ensured that a monitor will be established as soon as possible.

Bellone tapped Tim Sini to become Suffolk County police commissioner after serving as Bellone’s chief criminal justice advisor since August 2014.

Before his tenure as Suffolk’s assistant deputy county executive for public safety, Sini served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 2010 to 2014, specializing in violent crimes, gang prosecutions and large-scale narcotics cases.

“When looking for a police commissioner, I am seeking someone with character, experience and vision, and Tim Sini has all three,” Bellone said. “Tim is a man of real integrity with a strong sense of justice. Tim Sini has a unique blend of law enforcement experience as a federal prosecutor combined with a keen understanding of Suffolk County’s law enforcement community by serving as my top law enforcement advisor.”

But McCaffrey argued at the press conference that there was no time for “on-the-job training” when one is elevated to the level of commissioner of the county police department. McCaffrey argued that Sini is inexperienced, making it that much more essential that federal investigators seek out accountability.

“This is not a political issue, it is one of public safety and the integrity of our government,” McCaffrey said. “The State of New York, and now Suffolk County, is just roiling with corruption and mismanagement. The people of Suffolk County deserve much better than this, and anything less than full federal involvement will not be acceptable.”

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A Lamborghini driver was killed on Sunday afternoon when he crashed into a pole on a steep hill.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, 48-year-old Belle Terre resident Glen Nelson was driving east up East Broadway in Port Jefferson in the 2008 Lamborghini when he left the road and struck a pole near High Street.

Port Jefferson Village Trustee Larry LaPointe said on Monday that one of the village’s code officers was the first person on the scene and was able to get into the “horribly mangled vehicle with a person still alive inside.”

LaPointe, the board of trustees’ liaison to the code enforcement bureau, said the code officer, Paul Barbato, started to deliver care to the injured driver.

Despite Barbato’s attempt, the man was pronounced dead at St. Charles Hospital, police said.

Police impounded the Lamborghini for a safety check and detectives from the 6th Squad are investigating the single-car crash.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 631-854-8652.

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Suffolk County police car. File photo

A Sound Beach man was arrested on Friday morning after he allegedly exposed himself to people on a bus in Ronkonkoma.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the suspect, 26-year-old Shawn Marshal Raghunandan, was sitting in a 1999 gold Infiniti and exposed himself to the adults in a minibus that had come to a stop at the intersection of Route 454 and 13th Avenue in Ronkonkoma.

According to police, the bus was occupied by members of AHRC, a nonprofit that works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The bus driver called 911 after the 8:20 a.m. incident, police said, and officers located the Infiniti a short time later. They arrested Raghunandan and charged him with public lewdness.

Attorney information for the defendant was not immediately available. He was scheduled to be arraigned at a later date.

Benzing the rules
On Dec. 10, police arrested a man from Miller Place for unlicensed operation of a car. The 32-year-old man was driving a 2007 Mercedes down Route 25A in Miller Place when police pulled him over and found the man’s license had been suspended 10 times before.

Not what the doctor ordered
Police arrested a 26-year-old man from Shoreham for criminal possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 10, after pulling him over on Echo Avenue in Sound Beach for an unknown reason and discovering prescription medication in his car that had not been prescribed to him.

A holiday steal
A 30-year-old woman from Selden was arrested for petit larceny on Dec. 12, after she allegedly stole toys and clothing from the Kmart on North Ocean Avenue in Farmingville two days before.

Impaired judgment
Police arrested a 51-year-old man from Selden for driving while ability impaired on Dec. 11. He had been driving a 2000 Toyota down Route 25 in Selden when he failed to maintain his lane and police pulled him over. He has had previous DWAI convictions in the past 10 years.

To the left, to the left
A man from Stony Brook was arrested on Dec. 11 for driving while ability impaired in a 2003 Subaru on North Country Road in Setauket-East Setauket after he made a left turn from a no-turn lane. Officials saw the 30-year-old make the turn and arrested him at the scene.

Window pains
On Dec. 12, police arrested a 23-year-old man from Stony Brook for criminal mischief. Police said the man cut a window screen of a residence on Christian Avenue an hour before his arrest.

Smoking green on Greenhaven
Police arrested an 18-year-old from Centereach on Dec. 9 for criminal possession of a controlled substance after catching him smoking marijuana in a 2000 Lincoln Town Car on Greenhaven Drive in Port Jefferson Station.

Coke to cuffs
A 22-year-old man from Middle Island was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 10 on Mount Sinai Avenue in Mount Sinai. Police officers had allegedly found cocaine in his car.

East Broadway brawl
Police arrested a 55-year-old woman from Centereach for harassment around midnight on Dec. 12, minutes after she shoved someone and made harassing comments at Danfords Hotel & Marina on East Broadway in Port Jefferson.

Parking lot larceny
An unidentified person entered a parking lot on East Main Street in Port Jefferson and stole a purse, iPod and phone charger from a parked car. Police didn’t specify the car’s make and model or if it had been unlocked at the time of the Dec. 12 incident, but there was no sign of a break-in.

Grinch steals Christmas again
On Dec. 12, an unknown person stole holiday decorations and extension cords from the front yard of a residence on North Country Road in Mount Sinai.

You’ve got mail
Someone stole a mailbox from a residence on Glenwood Avenue in Miller Place on Dec. 13, around 4:13 a.m. On that same day, between 2 and 11 p.m., someone stole a mailbox from a residence on Devon Road in Sound Beach.

A lesson in stupidity
Someone stole a 2015 Honda from a 7-Eleven parking lot on Middle Country Road in Selden. Police said the car was on when it was stolen. The incident happened on Dec. 12 between 6:55 and 7:03 a.m.

Go home, caller
According to police, a Home Depot employee received a harassing phone call while at work on Dec 12, at the location on Pond Path in Setauket-East Setauket.

Needed money for books
Between Dec. 9 and 10 someone used another person’s bank card to withdraw money from a Teacher’s Federal Credit Union account. The incident was reported on Circle Road at Stony Brook University around midnight.

Chores and cartoons
Police said someone stole a washing machine and a television from a residence on Eos Road in Rocky Point on Dec. 11 around 10 a.m.

Scholarly slash
On Dec. 12, someone slashed the two rear tires of a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee while the car was parked on Harvard Road in East Shoreham.

Knife strife
A 33-year-old from East Meadow was arrested at the corner of Main Street and New Street in Huntington at 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 12 after police said he was recklessly waving a black folding knife in the air on a public sidewalk and alarming pedestrians. He was charged with disorderly conduct for violent behavior.

Necklaces nabbed
Police said a 25-year-old man from East Northport stole jewelry from someone on Cornflower Lane in East Northport at 8 p.m. on Nov. 23. He was arrested on Dec. 10 at the 2nd Precinct and charged with third degree grand larceny.

Wallet woes
On Dec. 12, a 28-year-old man from Huntington was arrested at the 2nd Precinct after police said he stole a wallet from someone’s purse on Nov. 2 at 11:47 p.m. on New York Avenue in Huntington. He was arrested just before 5:30 p.m. and charged with petit larceny.

Rocking out
Police arrested a 34-year-old man from Huntington on Dec. 9 for a previous incident on Oct. 19 at 5:50 p.m. where he threw a rock through a storefront glass door on Gerard Street in Huntington. He was charged with second degree criminal mischief.

FedEx theft
On Dec. 11, at 6:50 a.m., an unknown person stole a FedEx package left at the front door of a home on Mechanic Street in Huntington.

Feeling blue on Blue Goose Lane
A 36-year-old man from Northport was arrested on Dec. 8 after police said he had marijuana on him at the corner of Little Plains Road and Blue Goose Lane in Huntington Station at 4:20 a.m. He was charged with fifth degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Crack is whack
On Dec. 11, a 47-year-old man from Coram was arrested on Maplewood Road in Huntington Station after police said he was driving without a license and was in possession of crack cocaine at 10:34 a.m. He was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Gone in a flash
An unknown person stole camera equipment from a 1995 Honda Civic parked on Mechanic Street in Huntington on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.

May-day on May Street
Police said an unknown person stole a wallet and cell phone charger from a 2011 Hyundai parked on May Street in Huntington Station on Dec. 11 at 11 p.m.

High road
A 27-year-old man from Brentwood was arrested on Dec. 10 after police said he had heroin in his possession at 1 p.m. on Walt Whitman Road. He was charged with third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Resident of fence-ded
On Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. an unknown person stole parts of a fence from the back of a pickup truck parked in a driveway on Old Northport Road in Commack.

Flee attempt
A 59-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested on Dec. 13 after police said she hit a 2013 Mitsubishi while driving a 2013 Toyota on Lou Avenue in Kings Park at 1:23 a.m. and then tried to flee the scene. She was charged with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a crime with property damage.

On Dec. 13 a 42-year-old woman from North Babylon was arrested at the 4th Precinct after police said she tried to return deck screws for store credit from Wood Brothers Air Compressor on Express Drive in Brentwood that she had taken from the sales floor just before 3 p.m. on Oct. 27. She was charged with petit larceny.

Santa Claus isn’t coming to town
On Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. an unknown person stole a five-foot singing and dancing Santa Claus on display on a resident’s front porch on Orchard Street in Hauppauge and fled in a red Jeep.

Ring ring
Police said a 37-year-old man from Moriches made threatening phone calls to another person at 7:05 p.m. on Dec. 9. He was arrested on North Country Road in Smithtown and charged with first-degree criminal contempt by telephone.

Blown away
A 79-year-old man from Fort Salonga was arrested on Dec. 11 after police said he used a leaf blower to blow leaves and ash residue onto someone’s parked car on Woodmere Drive in Fort Salonga repeatedly at about 2:20 p.m. He was charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment.

Bowling lane blues
An unknown person damaged a 2005 Honda parked in AMF Commack Vet Lanes parking lot on Jericho Turnpike in Commack on Dec. 10 at 1:45 p.m. Police said the car’s rear driver-side window was damaged and a leather shoulder bag, cash, laptop, wallet and credit cards were stolen out of it.

Xanax bust
On Dec. 10 a 21-year-old man from Hauppauge was arrested at about 11:30 a.m. on Townline Road in Hauppauge after police said he had Xanax in his possession without a prescription. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Motor Parkway market
Police said a 21-year-old man from Brentwood sold heroin and crack cocaine on Motor Parkway in Brentwood on Nov. 17 and 18 and Dec. 1 and 4. He was arrested on Dec. 10 after police said he tried to flee the scene just before 9 a.m. and charged with four counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, one charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

The town’s Chief Fire Marshal Chris Mehrman shows how Christmas tree fires can have devastating results. Photo from Brookhaven Town

Brookhaven Town officials demonstrated the dangers of Christmas tree fires last week, igniting an unwatered tree in a model living room.

The Dec. 9 event was aimed toward raising awareness about proper care for live trees. Before the dry tree went up in flames, officials from the town’s Division of Fire Prevention failed to set a properly watered Christmas tree on fire.

The dry, fiery tree caused damage to the model living room, referred to as a “burn pod.”

“This was a frightening, first-hand look at what could happen if Christmas trees are not sufficiently watered,” Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said in a statement. “I urge everyone to make sure when purchasing a fresh Christmas tree to keep it properly watered to prevent a fire like we witnessed today.”

Christmas tree lights and Hanukkah candelabra called menorahs can also create fire safety issues. Councilman Dan Panico (R-Manorville) warned residents to “inspect your lights for frayed wires or broken bulbs.”

Christmas trees caused 210 house fires across the country annually between 2009 and 2013, although almost a quarter of those fires were intentional, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Another more than 750 unintentional fires per year were caused by other holiday decorations. The fires result in injury, death and property damage.

“It took only seconds for this fire to develop and consume the burn pod and cause severe damage,” Councilman Neil Foley (R-Blue Point) said in a statement.

The National Fire Protection Association has advised people to place trees at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, vents or lights, and to make sure it does not block any exits. It is recommended that 1 to 2 inches is cut from the trunk’s base before the tree is set into its stand, the association said, and trees should be watered daily.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org.

Police on hunt for three other suspects

File photo

A victim had facial injuries after being threatened with a knife early Sunday morning, during a robbery for which police said they have only arrested one of the four assailants.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, officers have arrested a homeless man in connection with the Coram crime, but are still searching for the other three suspects.

The incident began at about 12:45 a.m. on Sunday, when police said the four robbers, one of whom was armed with a knife, confronted the male victim on Middle Country Road, between Fife Drive and Erna Drive. Those suspects assaulted him, police said, and threatened him with the knife while stealing his leather coat and two diamond earrings.

The victim was treated for facial injuries at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson and has since been released, police said.

A homeless man, 25-year-old Armad Johnson, was arrested the same day and charged with first-degree robbery, but police are still looking for the other three Johnson was allegedly working with.

Attorney information for Johnson was not immediately available and he could not be reached for comment.

Anyone with information about the unknown suspects in the armed robbery is asked to contact detectives at the SCPD’s 6th Squad at 631-854-8652, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Suffolk County police car. File photo

A Commack woman and her dogs Marlo and Bo were saved from their burning home Friday morning, with the help of two firefighters and a police officer.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 45-year-old Elyssa Roth dropped Marlo out of her bedroom window into the responders’ arms, then jumped out herself. Bo was later saved from inside the house.

It all started shortly before 9:30 a.m., when someone called 911 to report the fire on Suttonwood Drive, police said. Officer David Mascarella from the 4th Precinct and Commack Fire Department volunteers Bernie Simoes and Paul Carnevale responded to find heavy smoke and limited visibility at the burning home. The heavy flames and intense heat prevented Mascarella and Simoes from going inside, police said.

The responders convinced Roth to drop Marlo the dog from her second-floor bedroom window, then followed and the men caught her. Bo was found inside the house and treated at an animal hospital.

That second dog was not the only one who needed medical attention. Police said Roth and Mascarella were treated for smoke inhalation at Stony Brook University Hospital and at Smithtown’s St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, respectively. The pair of firefighters were treated for respiratory distress at the scene of the blaze.

According to police, arson detectives have determined the fire had a non-criminal cause.

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The girl hit by a car on Main Street last week has died of her injuries, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

Kings Park’s 11-year-old Holly Gallo died on Dec. 10, police said, five days after a van struck her as she crossed the road in her hometown. The van had been traveling east and had just passed Thompson Street at the time of the crash, roughly 11 a.m. that Saturday.

Holly initially survived the crash but had been in critical condition at Stony Brook University Hospital before her death on Thursday.

The van’s driver, a 52-year-old Freeport man, was not hurt.

Shortly after the crash, police said they had impounded the van for a safety check and detectives from the 4th Squad were investigating.

A Gofundme.com website was launched in the days following Holly’s death in which family members and friends raised more than $48,000 to help the family. Sabrina Klemballa, who identified herself as a close member of the family, said the family has felt support from the North Shore and beyond since the 11-year-old’s death.

Phil Corso contributed reporting.