Two men accused of stealing copper gutters from an Amagansett house, both of whom have long histories with the criminal justice system, were remanded to the county jail on Thursday.
William LaGarenne, 54, of Amagansett, and Freddie Parker, 42, of Bellport, were arrested after a routine traffic stop at 2 a.m. yesterday on Further Lane in East Hampton. East Hampton Town police discovered what Detective Sgt. Greg Schaefer described as "proceeds" from a theft at 31 Oceanview Lane, Amagansett, in their vehicle. The two were brought in for questioning and ultimately placed under arrest just after 7 a.m.
They are charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and second-degree criminal mischief, all felonies. Both pleaded not guilty to the felony charges. Mr. LaGarenne's van has been impounded.
"It was an excellent stop," Detective Schaefer said.
In East Hampton Town Justice Court today, Justice Steven Tekulsky rattled off a long list of Mr. LaGarenne’s arrests, including at least two felony convictions for attempted burglary, one in March 1991 and the other in January 2009.
"If in fact he has two felony convictions, I have no authority to do anything but remand him," Justice Tekulsky told Mr. LaGarenne's Legal Aid Society attorney, who had asked that her client be released. She said he had strong ties to the community and lives with his mother and brother on Shore Drive East in Amagansett, near Lazy Point.
In July 2012, Mr. LaGarenne was accused of taking over $10,000 in copper gutters from Riverhead Building Supply on Railroad Avenue in East Hampton Village. The outcome of that case could not immediately be learned.
Mr. Parker, who was represented at arraignment by John Kern of Southampton, was in the same boat as Mr. LaGarenne, Justice Tekulsky said. He too has two felony convictions on his record, for attempted robbery in 2001 and attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1995.
Each winter there are thefts of copper gutters from houses on the South Fork, although this year, Detective Schaefer said, there have not been many in town police jurisdiction.
There may be further charges against the two men in connection with other cases. "That's not out of the realm of possibility,” said the detective. “We're not done with the investigation."
Police have asked that anyone with information on the investigation call them at 537-7575. All calls will be kept confidential.