Cops collar burglary suspect

Cops collar burglary suspect

Jose Benitez mugshot from SCPD

A man who officers approached for drinking an open container of alcohol ended up being a pattern commercial burglar, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

Police allege Jose Benitez, 34, committed five burglaries in Huntington Station in late March, all of them on New York Avenue in the early hours of the morning.

The burglarized businesses include Best for Less, near East 13th Street, on March 17; Variedades Belen, near East 12th Street, between March 20 and March 21; Sunny’s Discount, near West 4th Street, on March 21; Checkers restaurant, at East 14th Street, on March 23; and Promesas Christian Book Store, at West 4th Street, on March 23.

Shortly after 5 a.m. on Thursday, 2nd Precinct patrolling officers Michael Buscarino and Vincent Dilluvio saw a man with an open alcohol container on New York Avenue near West Hills Road, police said, and the man gave them a false name. They brought him to the precinct and, after detectives further investigated, charged the Huntington Station resident with the five burglaries.

Benitez faces five counts of third-degree burglary and one count of false personation, and he was issued a summons for the open alcoholic beverage.

Attorney information for Benitez was not immediately available. According to the New York State court system’s online database, the suspect has a previous charge pending against him, for second-degree menacing with a weapon, and was listed as representing himself on that charge. Police held Benitez overnight, with his arraignment scheduled for Friday, and he could not be reached for comment.