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Shirley man avoids jail time after Wading River car break-ins


A Shirley man accused of multiple car break-ins in the Wading River area pleaded guilty to a reduced charge last week and avoided jail time. 

Karl Wittig, 34, of West End Avenue in Shirley pleaded guilty to two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, reduced from the six counts he was originally charged with on Feb. 25 and Feb. 18, and was fined a total of $410.

The plea was made in Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith’s court on Monday, March 14.

Fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property is a class A misdemeanor that carries fines of up to $1,000, and in some instances, higher.

Mr. Wittig was originally arrested on Feb. 18 after police had received calls about several larcenies in which items were stolen from cars in Wading River, according to Riverhead Town police.

During an investigation in the area, it was reported that a man was seen running through residents’ yards and across a farm field located in the area of Sunwood Drive.

Police later located Mr. Wittig, who matched the description given of the suspect, and arrested him after a foot pursuit in Calverton Meadows.

Mr. Wittig was found to have an active Suffolk County warrant, was arrested and, while in custody, was allegedly found to be possession of stolen property from an earlier larceny.

He was later charged with five more counts of fifth-degree criminal position of stolen property, in addition to the one he was originally arrested for, according to police.

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