A Mount Sinai man who police said was caught in the act while trying to burglarize a Chinese restaurant in Miller Place was arrested Monday, and police believe he may have committed as many as 15 other similar heists in Brookhaven since August.
Robert Cariddi, 49, of Valiant Court, was apprehended after police said he broke into Ho Ming Kitchen at 275 Rte. 25A in Miller Place, Suffolk detectives said.
Detectives said he may have struck as many as 16 times at businesses in Centereach, Selden, Setauket, Miller Place, Rocky Point, Sound Beach, Patchogue, Bohemia and Middle Island, adding that he targeted the businesses because they lacked security systems.
His attorney could not be reached for comment.
Cariddi was being held in the Sixth Precinct lockup overnight and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip on charges of false personation and 16 counts of third-degree burglary, police said.
The arrest was made after Sixth Squad detectives noticed a pattern involving burglaries of Asian restaurants and nail salons by a person who used the same modus operandi: The suspect would smash the businesses' windows late at night or early in the morning, and take cash.
Police said Sixth Squad Det. Michael Fales observed Cariddi burglarizing Ho Ming Kitchen and made the arrest.
Police ask anyone with information about other locations that may have burglarized should contact Sixth Squad detectives at 631-854-8652 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.