LI CRIME BRIEFS

CORAM/Bail set for driver charged in fatal hit-and-run

Bail for the Coram man charged last week in the hit-and-run death of a jogger was set Tuesday at $150,000 cash or $300,000 bond.

Thomas Costa's bail hearing at First District Court in Central Islip followed his July 31 arraignment in which he pleaded not guilty to speeding and leaving the scene of a crash in June in which the white 2001 BMW he was driving hit Karen Benjamin, 56, of Coram. Benjamin later died from her injuries after being taken off life support.

Costa's lawyer, John Ebel of Amagansett, said his client won't make bail.

"It's out of the question," Ebel said. "He's from a normal, working class family."

Costa, 31, a parolee, went back to jail last month after violating parole in a burglary and drug possession case. Costa had stayed out past curfew, violating his parole, Ebel said.

Costa's next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 9.

On June 23, Benjamin was jogging when she was hit by a car that left the scene just west of Mount Sinai-Coram Road in Mount Sinai. Parts of the vehicle at the crash site matched the BMW registered to Costa's father, and blood on the vehicle matched Benjamin's, a Suffolk prosecutor said at the bail hearing.

Benjamin was taken off life support on July 17.

-- Colleen Jaskot

BRENTWOOD/Homeowner halts burglar's attempt to steal TV

A burglar attempting to steal a flat-screen TV from a home in Brentwood fled empty-handed early Tuesday after he was confronted by the homeowner, police said.

The burglary attempt occurred about 1:45 a.m. on Arizona Avenue, Suffolk police said.

The suspect was not caught -- and police said the investigation is continuing.

Police said the suspect, described only as a male in a blue T-shirt, entered the home through an unlocked window. The suspect was attempting to steal the TV when the homeowner intervened, police said.

-- John Valenti

EAST ISLIP/Young teens charged with home break-in

Two young teenage boys were arrested and charged as juveniles with breaking into a home in East Islip just after midnight Tuesday, police said.

The identities of the two were not released because of their ages, Suffolk County police said. Police said only that they are 13 and 14 years old.

The break-in occurred on Washington Street near Greenwood Avenue about 12:15 a.m. Police said the two stole a cellphone and keys before fleeing.

Arraignment details were not available because the two were to appear in Family Court.

-- John Valenti

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