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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Teens arrested in multiple burglaries

Police said they arrested four burglary suspects in

Police said they arrested four burglary suspects in "at least a half-dozen" break-ins in Suffolk. They include, from left, Colleen Elam, 18, Maurice Jones, 18, Sion Sosa, 17, and Darnell Loften, 19. Credit: SCPD

Four teenagers have been arrested and accused of burglaries in five different Suffolk communities, and police said they may be tied to at least a half dozen more.

In the most recent burglary in East Setauket, the teens also vandalized the home, clogging a sink, turning on the water and collapsing a floor with the ensuing flood, Suffolk police said.

"One of the suspects told me they called it 'Rambo-ing,' " Det. Sgt. Edward Aki said. "There was no reason for it. . . . I think it was a thrill thing."

He said police are investigating whether the teens are linked to at least a half-dozen other cases -- including another one in which the sinks were clogged and there was significant water damage to the home.

"We're looking at them for those and others. We're trying to link fingerprints and other evidence," Aki said.

Only one of the teens, Darnell Loften, 19, of 44 Oakcrest Ave., Middle Island, was charged in all six burglaries so far linked to the suspects.

The teens took "small items," including laptop computers, small electronics, video games and jewelry, Aki said.

Police said the four were arrested Wednesday after their vehicle was stopped on Black Locust Avenue in East Setauket following a burglary on Julia Circle; another suspect, Sion Sosa, 17, tried to flee the scene of the traffic stop on foot, but was arrested in a shed behind a home on nearby Partridge Lane.

"We knew they were doing it," Aki said, "we just had to catch them in the act."

He said Sixth Precinct officers and detectives had tracked the suspects, who used a red Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle.

They were arraigned Thursday in Central Islip and pleaded not guilty.

Loften was charged with six counts of second-degree burglary and one count of possession of burglar's tools.

Sosa, of 37 Van Buren Ave., Centereach, was charged with five counts of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal trespass and one count of possession of burglar's tools.

Colleen Elam, 18, of 25 Urban Dr., Selden, was charged with four counts of second-degree burglary and one count of possession of burglar's tools.

Maurice Jones, 18, of 5 Harrison Ave., Centereach, was charged with four counts of second-degree burglary, resisting arrest and one count of possession of burglar's tools.

Judge G. Ann Spelman ordered Lofton held on $120,000 bond; Sosa on $140,000 bond; Elam on $100,000 bond and Jones on $200,000. They were held in the Suffolk jail Thursday.

Aki said the first in the string of burglaries took place Feb. 21 at a home on Old Selden Stage Road in Selden.

The next was April 11 on View Drive in Miller Place; followed by an April 13 burglary at a home on Lynhaven Place in Centereach; April 19 burglaries on Niagara Street in Miller Place and Shady Tree Lane in Port Jefferson; and the burglary Wednesday on Julia Circle in East Setauket.

Smithtown-based attorney Anthony Scheller, who represents Sosa, said "He's supposed to graduate high school in 29 days. We're hoping to try to get him out so he can graduate high school." He added the defense will "have to do our investigation as well," and that due to Sosa's age, he may be eligible to be treated as a youthful offender.

Elam's great-grandfather James Coffey of Baldwin said he had not heard about the teen's arrest, but called it "very sad news. . . . We're a very close family. We'll get through this."


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