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Year-end police statistics show 14.5% increase in criminal incidents compared to prior year

Riverhead Town Police saw a 14.5% increase in criminal incidents from 2020 to 2021, according year-end department crime statistics.

“All numbers are up,” said Chief David Hegermiller in a brief review of the December statistics at last Thursday’s work session.

Among the stats that increased over the course of the past year:

• Petit larceny increased by 2.6%, from 643 to 660 incidents

• Burglary was up 28%, from 43 to 55

• Assault increased by 11.5%, from 26 to 29

• Grand larceny was up 22.5%, from 191 to 234

• Robbery increased from 10 to 17

There were 71 driving while intoxicated arrests in 2021, plus 7 driving while ability impaired arrests.

 Non-criminal incidents were up by 12 percent. This includes incidents of officer assistance in car accidents, death investigations, lost property, and helping the public, among other things.

“We are going to have to keep monitoring, and from what I understand, this is happening across Suffolk County,” said Supervisor Yvette Aguilar, who is a former New York City police sergeant and detective.

The police saw a drop in crime in the early days of the COVID-19 in March of 2020.

But the number of criminal incidents in 2020 was slightly higher than the 2019 numbers of 1,825 in 2019 and 1,816 in 2018.

Meanwhile, there were no homicides listed in the annual statistics for 2020 nor 2021 that police say took place in Riverhead Town.

However, there were two in 2020 that officials say took place in Riverhead Town.

In one, Donatila O’Mahony, 41, of Central Islip was charged with the Aquebogue murder of Lee Pederson on March 8, 2020, and in the other, Alcides Lopez-Cambara, 40, and Tyara Lemus, 18, of Hampton Bays, were arrested for the murder of a Sag Harbor man in Riverhead in July 2020.

Murder cases are typically turned over to the Suffolk County Homicide Squad.