Cops: Man Stole Van, Crashed on Shelter Island With $70k in Goods

William A. Donnelly Jr. of Montauk was armed and on drugs when he fled from police on Wednesday, Shelter Island Police say.

SHELTER ISLAND, N.Y. — A chase led to the arrest of a Montauk man who was in possession of about $70,000 in proceeds from burglaries around East Hampton, police said.

Following his arrest on Wednesday, William A. Donnelly Jr., 30, is being held at the Suffolk County jail in Riverside without bail.

Shelter Island Police Detective Sgt. Jack Thilberg said in a statement on Friday that police tried to pull over Donnelly in a stolen van on Route 114 on Wednesday at 3:56 p.m., but he refused, leading police a short case down Smith Street and Menantic Road. He ended up crashing on Menantic Road and exited his vehicle and fled on foot into a residential area.

"We suspected the van was stolen and knew the plates were stolen," Thilberg said by on Friday. "We also had reason to believe he was armed."

Two New York State K9 unit were called to the island and located Donnelly, who was hiding in a backyard shed nearby where he crashed.

"Upon further investigation, the defendant was determined to be under the influence of and in possession of drugs," the arrest report state. Inside the packed van, police found stolen property, including firearms, rare coins, jewelry, and other items. All of the items had been stolen from the East Hampton area.

East Hampton Village Detective Brian Eldridge said on Friday that a burglary had been reported on Barnes Lane on Wednesday. A neighbor said he saw suspicious activities at the house just after 9 a.m. Items from the burglary were found in the crashed van, which was believed to have been taken from a driveway on Osborn Lane.

So far, Shelter Island police have charged Donnelly with second- and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, petty larceny, operating a vehicle with impaired by drugs, reckless driving, resisting arrest, and numerous traffic violations.

Thilberg said Donnelly was charged with possession of Arazapan, Viocdin, and marijuana.

The detective declined to specify what kind of firearms Donnelly had in the van or how many burglaries Donnelly's arrest might solve.

Donnelly was arraigned in Shelter Island Justice Court and the case will be presented to a Suffolk County grand jury next week. Additional charges are anticipated.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker said the Shelter Island Police Department demonstrated good police work in this bust. "They did a fantastic job," he said.

Town Police Detective Sgt. Chris Anderson was not immediately available for comment.

walt j May 19, 2012 at 02:24 AM
excellent work - they grabbed him and linked it all back to numerous other crimes, not always easy - Sgt Thilberga nd his crew are to be congratulated


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