Nassau police have arrested a Hicksville man and charged him with three commercial burglaries, in at least one instance using a blowtorch to get to a money safe, police said Thursday.
Latise K. Eady, 23, of Meeting Lane, was arrested about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday during a traffic stop in Hicksville, acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said at a news briefing.
Police seized $5,000, believed to be ill-gotten cash from the safe, and several stolen cellphones at Eady’s home Wednesday night after serving a search warrant, Krumpter said.
Eady was charged with three burglaries, although Krumpter said investigators from the department’s Burglary Pattern Team suspect Eady may have been involved in up to 11 more beginning in September 2015 through this month.
Krumpter denied questions that police lacked evidence to link Eady to the additional burglaries, insisting police have “sufficient evidence.” He also denied that investigators sought to close out the cases simply to boost their clearance rate. He said the investigation is ongoing and if “probable cause is developed, he could be charged” in the others.
“They fit a pattern, all similar in nature,” Krumpter said. “We would not be closing out these cases if we didn’t feel comfortable. . . . The MO [method of operation] is consistent.”
Hempstead District Court Judge William Hohauser set bail at $300,000 bond or $200,000 cash for Eady, who was also charged with third-degree arson with the three counts of third-degree burglary, according to a spokesman for the Nassau district attorney’s office.
Eady, who police said is on parole for committing an armed robbery with a shotgun, was represented by a Legal Aid Society attorney at his arraignment Thursday.
In the three robberies in which Eady faces charges, police say that in December he used a blowtorch to break into a Burger King on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow and stole a safe packed with cash.
They say in January, he stole cellphones from a T-Mobile store in Hempstead, and in the latest heist, on Wednesday, Eady entered a T-Mobile store on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow and stole cash, police said.
Krumpter said the department’s Burglary Pattern Team, created to deal with a recent uptick in burglaries, solved the cases, in part, due to a cooperating witness at a Hempstead business where Eady fenced the cellphones.
“When you think about the cost of an iPhone at five, six, seven hundred dollars, it doesn’t take a lot of iPhones in order for you to make a significant amount of money on it,” Krumpter said.