County police have made an arrest connected to a string of break-ins, but more
than a dozen crimes of the same kind remain unsolved.
A total of 18 different smash-and-grab burglaries took place near Lake
Grove and surrounding villages.
Investigators say 56-year-old Gregory Aponte, of Holbrook, is responsible
for five of the crimes. Officials are working to see if he is
connected to some of the others.
Mayra’s Bakery co-owner Amenhofis Ruiz says his businesses was robbed twice.
Aponte is being charged with one of those robberies.
“We can relax and get to work, do our stuff without worrying about another hit
because this guy’s already in jail,” Ruiz says.
Investigators say Aponte broke into four businesses,
including one Dunkin’ Donuts he allegedly burglarized twice.
According to court documents, Aponte confessed and says he committed the crime
to feed a drug habit.
“I’m a burglar,” Aponte reportedly said. “I break into store stores when they
are closed by smashing and breaking the front glass doors with a large brick,
stone or rock and then I steal the register drawers and the cash because I’m
addicted to crack.”
Twelve other break-ins remain unsolved, most of them in the Holbrook area, including
a burglary that happened in September at a Lemon Tree Hair Salon.
Owner Anthony Pisani is hoping Aponte is also
responsible for that robbery.
“I think it’s about time, I’m happy he was caught,” Pisani says. “It stinks
that it took this long, but at least they got him.”
Ruiz says he hopes that Aponte stays in jail for a long time, but also gets the
help he needs.
Aponte has been charged with five counts of burglary. News 12 is waiting to see
if he will be connected to any of the other crimes.
Aponte is still in jail as of Monday evening. A
judge set bail at $7,500, and officials say he has not been able to come up
with the money.