Cops: Father and son arrested in burglary

James Merrill, 21, and Steven Merrill, 51, both James Merrill, 21, and Steven Merrill, 51, both of East Farmingdale, have been charged with second-degree burglary and possession of burglar's tools, police said. (Feb. 23, 2013) Photo Credit: NCPD

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A father and son face burglary charges after officers responding to a suspicious person call Saturday found them inside an abandoned South Farmingdale house attempting to steal copper piping, police said.

Two officers were injured during the arrest after Nassau County police said the son pushed an officer and later was involved in "a violent struggle" with an officer who had tracked him from the scene.

Arrested were Steven Merrill, 51, and James Merrill, 21, both of 57 Birch Ave., East Farmingdale. Both were charged with second-degree burglary and possession of burglar's tools. Additionally, James Merrill was charged with second-degree assault.

Both suspects were arraigned Sunday in First District Court in Hempstead. Steven Merrill was ordered held on $20,000 bond, or $10,000 cash bail; James Merrill was ordered held on $10,000 bond, or $5,000 cash bail, records show. They had yet to post bail and were due to return to court Wednesday, records show.

In a Monday news release, police said the incident occurred just after 10:30 a.m. at a home on Carmen Gate.

Arriving officers found the two men inside the home, and police said that as the two were being removed from the house James Merrill pushed an officer and later became involved in a violent struggle with another.

Two officers were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police said one officer suffered a fractured hand and a back injury, while the other was treated for back pain and a sprained ankle and hand. Both were later released.

Police said that the father and son team had "forced their way into the residence" to steal copper piping, and said a bag containing bolt cutters, flashlights, wrenches, screwdrivers, pipe cutters and other tools was recovered at the scene.

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