File photo: Denise Civiletti

With most business and social activities still restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, arrests, tickets and police revenues in Riverhead were significantly down again in May, according to data released yesterday by Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller.

Riverhead Police made just 17 arrests last month, compared to 97 in May 2019 — a decline of more than 82%. Arrests in April, during the peak of the pandemic here, dropped 92% compared to 2019. Arrests were down 63% in March.

Reports of criminal incidents fell only slightly compared to last year. Police took 162 reports of criminal incidents in May, compared to 167 criminal incident reports taken in May 2019.

The breakdown of Riverhead Police arrests and charges in May: assault (1), burglary (1) criminal possession of stolen property (2), criminal contempt (4), criminal facilitation (1), criminal mischief (1), criminal sale of a controlled substance (1), driving while ability impaired by drugs (1), driving while intoxicated (1), grand larceny |91), harassment (1), petit larceny (1) and reckless endangerment (1).

Fifteen prisoners were detained by Riverhead Police in May.

Riverhead Police received 2,033 calls in May, compared to 2,994 in May 2019. The vast majority of those calls — 1,871 — involved incidents classified by police as noncriminal in nature. Among them were 316 aided case calls, which typically involves responding to a medical emergency. Eighty-eight calls were reports classified as domestic incidents.

The 162 criminal incidents reported included petit larceny (48), harassment (29), grand larceny (14), criminal mischief (14), fireworks (13), burglary (10), stolen vehicle (9), identity theft (5), fraud (4), criminal trespass (3), menacing (3), illegal dumping (2), as well as incidents (1 each) of attempted burglary, criminal contempt, criminal obstruction of breathing, endangering the welfare of a child, parole violation, reckless endangerment and robbery.

Riverhead Police issued 279 summonses in May. The number of parking tickets issued by police jumped to 279, from just 1 in the month of April. The number of parking tickets issued in May actually increased from the 220 parking tickets issued in May 2019.

There were 111 motor vehicle accidents in May, up from 70 in April, as more motorists hit the roads. By comparison, there were 160 MVAs in May 2019.

There were six nonfatal overdoses and one fatal overdose in Riverhead last month.

Police department revenues were again down significantly last month. Hegermiller said that was largely attributable to being slow to send out alarm fee invoices. Police collect fees for alarms monitored by the department vehicle impounds and storage fees, copies of reports and accident scene photos and the like.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.