Arsons at PSEG Long Island substations were cover for string of burglaries: police

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- Two men were arrested earlier this month for committing several acts of arson and robberies of businesses, Suffolk County police say.

54-year-old Frank Costa and 29-year-old Jon Pucci allegedly set fire to three PSEG Long Island substations because they hoped power outages would distract law enforcement while they burglarized nine commercial places.

The nine commercial places were mostly gas stations which both men robbed between Aug. 20 and Feb. 9, according to police.

Investigators were able to locate Costa and Pucci on Feb. 10 in Centereach after finding an ATM that was stolen from a Shell gas station in Ridge the day before.

Money from the ATM was allegedly found in their pockets after their arrest.

Costa and Pucci are also accused of burglarizing a Middle Island gas station twice in December.

Other targets included a Coram laundromat and a Yaphank deli.

"These alleged criminal acts have not only caused extensive damage, but have also put the lives of Suffolk County residents and first responders at risk," said Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney in a statement. "I thank the Suffolk County Police Department for their thorough investigation of this case. Now, my office will ensure that these defendants are held accountable for their alleged extremely dangerous crimes."

Costa has been ordered held on $150,000 cash, $500,000 bond, or $1million partially secured bond.

Pucci is due back in court on March 12th.

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An aid and five children were also on the bus.


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