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Arrests made by Riverhead Town Police since the coronavirus pandemic struck the local area are down more than 86% compared to the same period last year.

Riverhead Police made just 47 arrests from April through July this year. The total number of arrests made over the past four months is less than the number of arrests made in any single month from April through July in 2019.

Yet the number and types of criminal incidents reported monthly by Riverhead Police from April through July this year were roughly the same as during those four months in 2019.

Asked why reported arrests are lagging so far behind last year’s totals while reported criminal incidents remain very similar, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said the difference was the number of arrests made on outstanding warrants year over year. But there were 56 warrant arrests from April through July 2019, out of a total of 347 arrests during that period. Taking warrant arrests out of the equation, police made 291 arrests April-July 2019, compared to 47 arrests April-July 2020.

Riverhead Police report making the following arrests last month:

  • Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (1)
  • Burglary (4)
  • DWAI (1)
  • DWI (2)
  • Forcible touching (1)
  • Harassment (2)

Riverhead Police received 2,152 calls in July. Police report receiving complaints of 205 criminal incidents, including aggravated harassment (10; criminal mischief (24); endangering the welfare of a child (1); fireworks (35); fraud (8); grand larceny (16); harassment (29);identity theft (5);petit larceny (62); public lewdness (1); robbery (1); and stolen vehicle (1).

Police reported 84 domestic incidents, down from 102 in July 2019 and roughly the same number as the two previous months this year.

Police detained eight prisoners last month, compared to 59 in July 2019.

Police report investigating one fatal overdose and five nonfatal overdoses in July, bringing the total number of fatal overdoses to four and nonfatal overdoses to 28 so far this year.

As traffic has returned to local roads, the number of accidents has increased. There were 150 motor vehicle accidents in Riverhead Town last month, one of them resulting in a fatality.

They issued 933 traffic summonses — an enormous increase over the 60 summonses issued in June, 89 in May and 55 in April and even higher than the pre-COVID monthly numbers. They also issued 783 parking tickets.

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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.