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Cops: Flanders man tried to steal tires off unregistered car

Two witnesses led Riverhead Town police to a suspect who had allegedly just attempted to steal tires and rims off an unregistered vehicle at Used Car & Truck Discount Center on Route 58 early Thursday morning, according to a police press release.

Police responded at 3:50 a.m. to the report of an attempted theft and the witnesses told police the passenger side rear tire and rim of a 2014 Chevy Silverado had been removed as well as the lug nuts. The witnesses described seeing a suspicious person at the location who fled in a vehicle.

Police spotted the vehicle a short distance from the scene with the assistance of the New York State Police Department and arrested the driver, Anthony Murphy, 34, of Flanders.

Police said an investigation determined Mr. Murphy had removed the passenger side tires and rims from the Silverado. He was charged with fourth-degree attempted grand larceny and possession of burglar’s tools, both misdemeanors. Had he actually stolen the items, the charge would have been a felony.