Cops: Students arrested in break-ins at Greenport schools
Three teenage students had master keys to their Greenport school and repeatedly used them to get into offices, where they stole $1,700, Southold Town police said.
Jarod Tramontana, 17, of Greenport, was arrested Friday, James McElroy, 16, of Orient, was arrested Sunday and another student, 15, also of Greenport, was referred to Family Court as a juvenile, police said.
The teenagers and their parents could not be reached Monday night.
Authorities said the students had two sets of master keys to 720 Front St., which houses the district offices, the elementary school and the high school.
Those keys unlocked the outside door to the basement and to offices, Det. Sgt. John Sinning said.
"Once in the building, they went to different rooms, where they found money," he said.
At least four times in about six weeks, the students went into various offices and stole $1,700 in football game proceeds from the business office and another administrative office, Sinning said. Sometimes, one student would burglarize an office by himself, he said, and other times, all three participated.
District officials realized as early as November that one set of master keys was missing and that several offices had been burglarized, Sinning said.
Then on Thursday, some teachers saw McElroy in the gym locker room handing off keys to a fourth student, who was not charged, police said. When they asked McElroy what he was doing, the teachers grew suspicious with his unsatisfactory answer, Sinning said.
District officials began questioning McElroy, and after learning about his two accomplices, they called police Friday, Sinning said: "They actually caught the kid with the keys."
All three students have been suspended, police said.
Tramontana was charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said. It was not clear Monday night if he had been released on bail.
McElroy, was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and released after posting $100 in station house bail, police said.
The second set of master keys has not been recovered, police said, and the teenagers told authorities that all the money was gone.
With Gary Dymski