A gun-wielding suspect who took advantage of the lack of power in homes in Garden City and Hempstead to launch a crime spree has been arrested after entering darkened houses and terrorizing residents, police said.
Artie Jackson, 46, is set to be charged with offenses including burglary, robbery, assault and an attempted murder -- a charge stemming from a brutal home invasion Sunday, police said.
His attorney could not be reached Monday night.
Nassau Police Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki said Monday in a Mineola news conference that Jackson is connected to three burglaries in the two communities but could be linked to a dozen around the time of superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29.
Police asked the Long Island Power Authority to expedite restoring power to the area.
Jackson served prison time for convictions dating to 1983 for burglary, drug and larceny charges, records show. When he was arrested, he was on parole for a 2008 car theft conviction.
In the most recent home invasion, police said, Jackson entered an East Garden City home through a window after pulling out a screen at about 10 p.m. Sunday.
They said Jackson attacked a woman in her second-floor bedroom, then forced her downstairs and stole items before fleeing in her car.
A witness called 911 after seeing the car leaving the area, and police, who had saturated the community with as many as 50 patrol cars in Garden City and Hempstead, spotted Jackson. He crashed the vehicle in Hempstead and was captured.
"We were able to piece together the pieces of the puzzle after that," Skrynecki said.
Jackson used the same methods during burglaries on Wednesday and Thursday nights, police said.
Det. Sgt. John Giambrone, commander of the robbery squad, said Jackson had not been physically violent until Sunday night, when, they said, he used a plastic tie device to choke the victim.
On Thursday, he entered a home on Third Street in Garden City at about 11:30 p.m., just as the homeowner entered from the backyard, police said.
Jackson fired off two rounds from a gun into the ceiling and ordered a 57-year-old man and two women, ages 47 and 22, into a basement, police said.
He escaped in the family's car, which was abandoned in Hempstead near where another vehicle, stolen from a Bedell Avenue home in Hempstead the previous night, had been abandoned.
In the Hempstead case, a homeowner told police that a man entered his home and stole property from him at gunpoint and that he fired one shot while inside the house. He told police the gunman then fled with the victim's car.