LI CRIME BRIEFS

EAST GARDEN CITY/Arrest in gym locker thefts

He broke into gym lockers, stole credit card information and membership cards to big box store chains, then used the information to make purchases, Nassau County police said.

Latique D. Oates, 19, of 792 S. Ocean Ave., Freeport, was arrested Tuesday at the XSports Fitness center on Old Country Road in East Garden City, after, police said, employees reported catching him stealing an iPhone from a locker there.

During an investigation, Oates also was found to be in possession of six prepaid Visa gift cards, five Costco membership cards and a BJ's membership card -- none of them in his name, police said.

Oates, who did not work at the gym, would enter the locker rooms used by his victims, obtain credit card information without removing the cards, and then take the membership cards and use those cards and the credit card numbers to make his illegal purchases, police said.

Oates is charged with five counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, two counts of second-degree forgery, three counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, three counts of second-degree identity theft, six counts of petit larceny, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree identity theft and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification.

He was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Police said Oates also is being investigated for any link to similar crimes in Suffolk.

-- JOHN VALENTI


HEMPSTEAD/Police ID body behind laundry

A man found dead behind a self-service laundry in Hempstead over the weekend was identified Wednesday as Darwin A. Hernandez, 28, of Hempstead.

Nassau County police are still trying to find whoever stabbed Hernandez multiple times, leaving him to die behind the Laundry Palace on Clinton Street. Hernandez's body was found behind the laundry about 4:20 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Police did not say if a weapon was found -- or if they have a person of interest in the case. Detectives are asking that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

-- JOHN VALENTI


WOODMERE/Charges in 2nd synagogue break-in

A 16-year-old from Far Rockaway, Queens, already in custody after a synagogue break-in last summer, was arrested Tuesday and charged with burglarizing a temple in Woodmere on the same day, police said.

Daniel Weiss, of 1176 Brunswick Ave., was charged with third-degree burglary after an investigation by Nassau County police linked him to the incident on Aug. 12 at the Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns, police said.

Weiss was being held on $5,000 bond, $2,500 cash bail. He faced arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Weiss had been previously arrested in a break-in at Congregation Shaare Emunah temple in Cedarhurst on the same day, when police said he and another teen were captured on video surveillance ransacking the synagogue office.

Police said Weiss was previously arrested Feb. 18, two days after he is suspected of burglarizing the Aish Kodesh Synagogue in Woodmere, taking keys to a 2011 Honda -- then stealing that car from the temple parking lot.

Weiss was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny in that case, police said. His case is pending.

-- JOHN VALENTI

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