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Cops: Searingtown homeowner sees burglary attempt on video feed, calls police

Peter Lee, of Manhattan, was arrested Monday and

Peter Lee, of Manhattan, was arrested Monday and charged in connection with an attempted burglary in Searingtown on Saturday, police said. Credit: NCPD

A Manhattan man has been arrested and charged with attempting to burglarize a house in Searingtown Saturday after the homeowner saw a live video feed of the would-be thief lurking in the backyard and called 911, police said.

Bail was set on Peter Lee, 62, for $20,000 bond or $10,000 cash at his arraignment Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead on a handful of charges for allegedly trying to break into the Birch Drive home.

He fled in a car when officers attempted to pull his vehicle over, Nassau County police said in a news release.

“While fleeing, Lee threw a backpack [out] from his car that was found to contain a crowbar, various tools, binoculars, gloves, and a hat,” police said.

The backpack was recovered on Hillturn Lane, about a half-mile from the victim's home, police said.

Police said the home’s surveillance camera system detected movement in the backyard and sent an alert to the homeowner’s cellphone. The victim of the attempted burglary was not home at the time.

“Upon looking at a live video feed, the homeowner observed an unknown male attempting to cover the video camera with an inflatable toy,” police said.

By the time the officers arrived at 9:55 p.m., about five minutes after the 911 call, police said the would-be burglar was gone.

Subsequently, while canvassing the neighborhood, officers saw a “suspicious” vehicle and tried to pull it over, police said.

“It was going at a very slow speed,” police said, explaining what led them to deem the car "suspicious."

Police said the driver sped off and successfully dodged officers by turning onto side streets, but they were able to record the car’s license plate number and follow up, according to police.

That investigation led police to Lee, who was arrested Monday outside his residence, police said.

“He has priors for similar offenses,” police said.

Lee, who is in police custody, was charged with second-degree attempted burglary, third-degree unlawful fleeing of a police officer in a motor vehicle, possession of burglary tools, first-degree reckless endangerment, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

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