Serial burglary suspects captured after ransacking home

May 3, 2012 2:16:10 PM PDT
For 18 years the Seebergers have made a house in East Setauket their home, but on Wednesday it took all of ten minutes for a gang of thieves to ransack it.

"You always feel very violated by this, so it's been pretty difficult to see the whole house basically trashed," Nicholas Seeberger said.

Police say four serial burglars broke open the back door, stole some cash and small electronics, and then set about destroying the place. Turning on every faucet in the house and plugging the sinks so a cascade of water would cause catastrophic damage. They then sprayed a fire extinguisher throughout the house, and even turned it on Zoe, the family dog.

"Needless to say she is traumatized. She is the friendliest dog in the world," he said.

What these guys didn't steal or destroy with water, they simply trashed. The family's home office was turned upside down.

Turns out police weren't far away. They had beefed up patrols in the area, looking for the bandits who allegedly committed at least five other similar crimes all across Suffolk County's North Shore. Police caught four suspects as they tried to flee.

"Doing a burglary to begin with and going into someone's home is a horrific crime that nobody should be committing. But beyond that, to be creating extensive damage for no reason, obviously these are not good people we're dealing with," Det. Lt. William Burke said.

Unlike their victims. Nicholas Seeberger is a pastor at a nearby church. He usually counsels others to forgive. Today, he's struggling to follow that very advice.

"Just to glibly say, 'Yeah, yeah. I'll forgive. It's okay.' Well, it's not okay right now. You know, it hurts. But I'm sure I'll forgive because we're chained to the people that we don't forgive. So I'm working on it. I know I'll get there," he said.

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