Cops: Burglars target Wading River businesses, homes over weekend

02/25/2014 3:00 PM |
GOOGLE MAPS PHOTO | Several break-ins were reported across Wading River this weekend, according to police reports.

GOOGLE MAPS PHOTO | Several break-ins were reported across Wading River this weekend, according to police reports.

A strip of businesses in Wading River were burglarized over the weekend, with thousands of dollars in copper pipe stolen from one entrepreneur’s store, according to one victim and Riverhead Town police. A separate string of burglaries were also discovered at six Hulse Landing Road cottages, police said.

The future home of North Fork Bacon and Smokehouse on Sound Road, along with Amarelle restaurant and other businesses, were vandalized Sunday night, said North Fork Bacon owner Patrick Gaeta.

“I’m trying to open a business here,” Mr. Gaeta said. “Thankfully, I’m not open yet. If I had $5,000 worth of meat in the cooler I’d be screwed right now because he’s cutting the lines on the compressor.”

The thieves entered the old deli in the North Fork Bacon building — formerly the Pizza Pie — and cut out a “substantial amount” of copper wiring and pipes, Mr. Gaeta said.

“They took a lot of the copper pipe, the water main pipe that feeds the store, and actually took a lot of the power cords off a lot of my equipment,” he said.

Mr. Gaeta notified police, but said his business was targeted again Monday night. This time, the burglar wasn’t able to pry the door knob off the building and fled, leaving his tools behind, Mr. Gaeta said.

Still, the thief managed to pull wires off the poles outside of the building and copper off the roof, he said. Mr. Gaeta said he hasn’t had problems with burglars in the area before.

“It just kind of came out of nowhere this weekend,” he said, “I came in Monday morning and saw the mess.”

Mr. Gaeta said that recent snowy weather has already delayed the opening of his business to mid-March, and is hopeful that the burglaries won’t “hold us up too much.”

While the business owner believes he knows who is responsible for the burglaries, police said no arrests had been made yet and declined to comment on the incidents.

“We don’t want to compromise the investigation,” Sgt. Sean Egan said.

That string of burglaries were the second set reported in less than 24 hours, according to police reports.

A Wading River resident out for a walk Sunday afternoon had discovered six Hulse Landing Road cottages had been broken into at some point, police said.

Police received a call about 2 p.m. reporting that a resident discovered a nearby cottage looked as though it had been broken into at Oakwood on the Sound cottages, according to a report.

Upon further investigation, police found six cottages in total had been burglarized, some with broken widows and doors used for entry to the residences, police said.

Police did not say what, if anything, had been taken from the cottages and could not say when the break-ins occurred.

Additional information regarding the burglaries was not immediately available as the investigation is ongoing. Police could not say whether the two incidents were related.

psquire@timesreview.com

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