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Long IslandCrime

St. James man tampered with red light cameras, say cops

A St. James man was arrested Friday and charged with tampering with red light cameras in Smithtown, Suffolk police said.

Bryan Valentine, 26, of Hartsdale Street, faces two counts of second-degree criminal tampering and is scheduled to be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on Saturday, police said.

Valentine was arrested after a motorist called 911 to report a man placing plastic bags over two red light cameras at East Main Street and Landing Avenue at about 5:30 p.m., police said.

Officers spotted Valentine in the vicinity and arrested him. He was being held overnight Friday at the Fourth Precinct.

The arrest comes seven months after a Centereach man, Stephen Ruth, 42, was arrested after police said he tampered with red light cameras in Ronkonkoma.

Ruth, a real estate agent, became something of a local celebrity after he gave interviews saying he tampered with the cameras to protest what he said were unfair maneuvers by Suffolk County government to generate revenue with the technology, not improve public safety.

Ruth pleaded not guilty and his case is pending.

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