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Long IslandCrime

West Hempstead teen arrested in more auto thefts, cops say

For the second time in a month, a West Hempstead teen is under arrest, charged with twice breaking into a home in his neighborhood, stealing car keys — and crashing a sport utility vehicle he’d stolen from the driveway, police said.

The incidents, among a string of three burglaries Nassau County police said Juziah Douglas, 16, of Oakford Street, committed between Sept. 29 and Thursday, followed his arrest on Sept. 28, when he was charged in a similar string of events also involving a stolen car, which police said he crashed at least twice, then abandoned.

Police said investigators linked Douglas to the most recent incidents, on Sept. 29 and Oct. 12, after his arrest Thursday night in connection with a stolen vehicle investigation.

Police said Douglas was arrested at 10:50 p.m., charged with four counts of second-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, two counts of third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal trespass, possession of burglary tools, three counts of leaving the scene of an incident and unlicensed operation.

He faces arraignment Friday in First District Court, Hempstead.

Police said that at about 6:50 p.m. Thursday, Fifth Precinct officers responded to a call regarding an auto stolen from Lenox Drive in Lakeview. The complainant said that “a male subject,” whom police later identified as Douglas, entered his Ford F-150 truck and stole keys to his 2004 GMC Envoy, as well as a key fob and credit cards. Police said Douglas then entered the Envoy, stealing a Macy’s credit card, a Citibank debit card and other personal documents. A little more than 20 minutes later, at 7:13 p.m., police said they received a call reporting that a male had entered a Nissan Pathfinder on Oakford Street, stealing a pocketbook, cash, credit cards and two Nissan key fobs.

After a search, police located and arrested Douglas.

During the subsequent investigation, police determined that on Sept. 29, Douglas “entered a Maren Street, West Hempstead home” and removed keys to another 2004 GMC Envoy — only to crash into a parked car while backing the Envoy out of the driveway. He then fled. The investigation also determined, police said, that Douglas burglarized the same Maren Street home on Oct. 12, again stealing keys to the same 2004 GMC Envoy — and again crashed it into a parked vehicle as he backed out of the driveway. Again, Douglas fled the scene on foot, police said.

Police had arrested Douglas on Sept. 28 after, investigators said, he broke into a home in West Hempstead, stole keys to a 2015 Nissan Altima, crashed the Altima twice into parked vehicles, only to return the car to the driveway, re-entering the house where he’d stolen the keys — returning the keys, too.

Police said that burglary and theft came to light after Douglas was caught breaking into another home en route home from the incident, arrested by officers responding to a call of a burglary in progress. That investigation uncovered the incident with the stolen Altima, leading to a slew of charges against Douglas, including two counts of second-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, petty larceny, second-degree criminal trespass, possession of burglary tools, unlicensed operation and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it. The status of that case was unknown Friday.

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