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Police: Copiague man arrested in robbery, burglaries in Suffolk

John Batista, 44, of Copiague, threw a rock

John Batista, 44, of Copiague, threw a rock or brick to gain entry to the establishments he burglarized, Suffolk police said. Credit: SCPD

A Copiague man has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery and a string of burglaries in Suffolk County dating to December, police said Saturday.

John Batista, 44, of Great Neck Road, was charged with first-degree robbery, seven counts of third-degree burglary, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Suffolk County police said.

The burglaries involved Batista throwing a rock or brick through the window or door of an establishment to gain entry. There were no injuries in the armed robbery or burglaries, police said. The crimes were committed between December and March 29.

Police said after an investigation, First Squad detectives arrested Batista at about 2:15 a.m. Friday on Arthur Avenue in Copiague.

Police said Batista was arrested in the following incidents:

  • A Dec. 11 armed robbery at the Laundry Center on Sunrise Highway in Copiague.
  • A Jan. 14 burglary during which cash was stolen at a Dunkin’ Donuts on West Sunrise Highway in Copiague.
  • A Feb. 19 burglary during which cash was stolen from a Starbucks on Sunrise Highway in Copiague.

A Feb. 22 burglary at a Mobil gas station on Sunrise Highway in Copiague.

The Feb. 25 theft of cash from the Golden Pine Deli on Great Neck Road in Copiague.

A March 24 burglary during which cash was stolen from the Big Town Cleaners on Great Neck Road in West Babylon.

A March 27 burglary during which cash was taken from the Dapper Smoke Shop on 40th Street in Lindenhurst.

A March 29 burglary during which cash was stolen from the U.S. Petroleum gas station on Route 110 in North Amityville.

Batista was arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip and was held on bail. His attorney couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

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