The girlfriend of Justin T. Bennett, a Springs man who was arrested in October after a string of burglaries in 2013, has also been charged in connection with the case.
Erin Reiser, 32, of North Haven, is facing six charges related to alleged stolen property found in her 2003 Toyota Corolla during a traffic stop in East Hampton that led to Mr. Bennett’s arrest on Oct. 24. Ms. Reiser was in the car when Mr. Bennett was pulled over, East Hampton Town Police Capt. Chris Anderson said yesterday.
In statements to police, Mr. Bennett, 35, shouldered all the blame for 16 burglaries in East Hampton, which totaled more than $126,000 in jewelry, cash, and prescription medications, but Captain Anderson said Ms. Reiser had “full knowledge of everything going on.” Stolen jewelry worth between $1,000 and $6,000, as well as iPods, were found in her car.
Asked why it took four months to levy charges against her, Captain Anderson said it had taken that long to sift through all the stolen goods and find their rightful owners. “It’s been an ongoing investigation. It was just a matter of when we were going to charge her,” he said.
Mr. Bennett, whom police called a “serial burglar” at the time, claimed to be feeding a heroin habit that he said started with an addiction to pain medication after a back injury. He admitted to more than a dozen burglaries and attempted burglaries in town between January and October, as well as burglaries committed in Bridgehampton, Noyac, and Sag Harbor, according to his statement.
Ms. Reiser was arrested on Monday at about noon after surrendering to police upon their request. She was charged with three counts of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony; one count of fourth-degree possession of stolen property, also a felony, and two counts of fifth-degree possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.
Following arraignment before East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky on Monday, she posted $2,500 bail at the Suffolk County jail in Riverside.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bennett, who was indicted on a slew of felony charges, is being held on $200,000 cash bail, or $400,000 bond, at the county jail in Yaphank. His case has been transferred to the county criminal court in Riverhead. He is due to reappear there tomorrow.
In other news, after an investigation that spanned several months Southampton Town detectives have arrested an East Hampton man who allegedly used someone else’s credit card to buy car insurance and forged the owner’s signature. Donald DiCostanzo, 51, was charged with second-degree forgery and fourth-degree grand larceny, both felonies, on the afternoon of Feb. 20. The incident dates back to July 2013, and the charges amounted to over $600. Detectives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Carlos O. Pinos-Morocho, 37, of East Hampton was arrested at about 6:15 p.m. Sunday on a charge of driving while intoxicated. Town police, who stopped his 2004 Chevrolet on Abraham’s Path in Amagansett, said the car had crossed the line onto the shoulder and had made an improper right turn from Town Lane onto Abraham’s Path. Police said the driver appeared intoxicated and performed poorly on all field sobriety tests. He was charged with aggravated D.W.I., a misdemeanor.