Man charged in more than a dozen commercial burglaries across Long Island

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Police on Long Island have arrested a man they say is behind at least 14 commercial burglaries since May.

BAY SHORE, Long Island (WABC) -- Police on Long Island have arrested a man they say is behind at least 14 commercial burglaries since May.

Authorities say 55-year-old Robert Porter was sitting in an abandoned vehicle on First Avenue in Bay Shore at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday when officers Jeremy Reichling and John Tighe observed him in possession of cocaine.

The pursuant investigation linked him to the more than a dozen incidents in the crime spree, which allegedly began around 1 a.m. on May 23 at The Hero Joint on West Main Street in Bay Shore.

The most recent incident happened around 5 a.m. at Le Belle Nail and Spa on Sunrise Highway North Service Road, also in Bay Shore.

In between, police say Porter burglarized the following businesses:

--Tequila Sunrise Wine and Liquor, 1752 Sunrise Highway, Bay Shore, on May 25 at approximately 10:30 p.m.

--DMS Smoke Shop, 190 Islip Ave., Islip, on June 19 at approximately 1:25 a.m.

--DMS Smoke Shop, 190 Islip Ave., Islip, on June 26 at approximately 11:30 p.m.

--USA Gas, 225 Higbie Lane, West Islip, on June 29 at approximately 1:55 a.m.

--Parkway Express Gas, 1490 Brentwood Road, Bay Shore, on June 29 at approximately 11:30 p.m.

--Shell, 4576 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, on July 18 at approximately 12:55 a.m.

--D & B Beer & Smoke, 4509 Sunrise Highway North Service Road, Bohemia, on July 21 at approximately 1:30 a.m.

--Lindenhurst Smoke Shop, 50 West Montauk Highway, Lindenhurst, on July 22 at 2 a.m.

--Shell, 4576 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, on July 25 at 4 a.m.

--D & B Beer & Smoke, 4509 Sunrise Highway North Service Road, Bohemia, on July 26 at approximately 12:45 a.m.

--Hershey's Ice Cream Shop, 470 Union Blvd., West Islip, on July 31 at approximately 3:30 a.m.

--Bang Bang Burritos, 464 Union Blvd., West Islip, on July 31 at approximately 3:35 a.m.

At Hershey's, surveillance video shows a man kicking open a glass door and crawling inside, running behind the counter and opening the register.

"It was scary, it was heartbreaking,"owner Christine Morano said. "We work so hard, and this is our season. We don't have all year round to make our money in sales, and to see that somebody could come and actually and take that away from us, it's hurtful."

Bang Bang Burritos is located right next door and was also hit.

"Mad, you know, because we work hard here," owner Barbara Pagliarulo said. "We worked hard to build this restaurant."

During the burglaries, Porter allegedly stole cash, liquor, cigarettes, vaping products and lottery tickets.

Porter was arrested Tuesday and is charged with 14 counts of third-degree burglary and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was arraigned on Wednesday and had his bail set at $150,000.

Police are still searching for an accomplice also captured on camera.

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