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Crimes Nearby: Police Break Up Identity Theft Ring

A review of incidents from across the region.

The following incidents were reported this week by Suffolk Police.

Suffolk County Police arrested four people this week and charged them with multiple counts of identify theft.

Taken into custody after a lengthy investigation were Latique Oates, 19, of Freeport; Rameez Senior, 19, of St. Albans, Queens; Andre Clayton, 19, of Freeport; and Kewon Brandon, 17, of Freeport. Each are facing multiple charges related to identity theft.

According to police, the suspects would allegedly break into lockers at fitness centers around Suffolk and steal personal information and credit and debit cards. The suspects would then allegedly use a portable skimming device to capture information from debit and credit cards and photograph personal information from driver’s licenses and then return the items to the lockers. The stolen information would then be loaded onto a fraudulent credit card and purchases were made.

Police said the suspects used the stolen information to purchase gift cards or make purchases at retailers such as BJ’s Wholesale and Home Depot.

Suffolk police were aided in their investigation by members of the Nassau County Police Special Investigations Unit, Freeport Village Police Department and Hempstead Village Police Department.

The investigation is continuing and police are asking anyone with information about this case or those who may believe they are possible victims to call the Suffolk County Identity Theft Unit at 631-852-6821.

• Man Charged With Stealing From Church

Suffolk County Police arrested a Huntington man on Wednesday and charged him with stealing from a church donation box.

George Kanganis, 47, was charged with Petit Larceny and Possession of Burglar Tools.

Police said an employee at the Church of St. Patrick observed a man taking cash from a candle donation box. Following a 911 call, police arrived and located Kanganis on West Main Street in Huntington.

• Police Seek Man Who Robbed Envios Espinoza Stores

Suffolk County Police are seeking to locate a man they said robbed two Envios Espinoza stores in January.

According to police, the suspect on January 13 robbed the Envios Espinoza location on Horseblock Road in Farmingville. The next day, the individual robbed the Coram Envios Espinoza store at 16 Middle Country Road.

In both incidents, police said the suspect displayed what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money from the store’s cashiers.

Police said the suspect is Spanish speaking and is described as a Hispanic male approximately 6 feet tall.  He was wearing a pullover-hooded sweatshirt with yellow writing and blue jeans. 

The man fled in a white compact four-door vehicle, possibly a Nissan Sentra or a Toyota Corolla. In the Coram robbery, the man fled in the same vehicle and wore the same clothes but also wore a blue vest with a five-point star on the back.

Police are asking anyone with information about either of these incidents to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. 

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