Two Arraigned In Theft Of Fire Chief Vehicle


Two 23-year-old Center Moriches men who allegedly stole an East Moriches fire chief’s marked SUV last month and led police on a chase before crashing in Eastport were arraigned on felony grand larceny charges last week.

Police said on January 26 Raymond Peruggi and Corey Smith stole the 2012 Chevy Tahoe, which was left running in front of the Center Moriches Firehouse, around 1 a.m. It was reported stolen shortly after, though it was not spotted again until around 7:20 a.m. in the Rocky Point area, police said.

Suffolk County Police, assisted by multiple other police departments and its aviation unit, pursued the vehicle down Flanders Road, west on Montauk Highway and briefly through Quogue Village before it crashed into a snowbank in Eastport around 8 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Mr. Peruggi pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County Criminal Court on February 6 to third degree grand larceny, a felony, two counts of reckless driving, two counts of fleeing a police officer and a count of petit larceny, all misdemeanors, as well as a slew of traffic infractions, including speeding, failure to stay in lane and failure to stop at a red light.

Judge William Condon remanded Mr. Peruggi to the Suffolk County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond, which he did not post, according to court records.

Mr. Smith pleaded not guilty the same day to third degree grand larceny and misdemeanor petit larceny. He was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000, which he did not post.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Mr. Peruggi had been convicted of a prior felony for possessing stolen property and was discharged from an upstate correctional facility on January 15 after serving a three-year sentence. During the arraignment, the defendant’s attorney asked the court that Mr. Peruggi be evaluated for drug treatment.

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