Arrests made by Riverhead Police since the coronavirus pandemic struck the local area remain way down compared to last year.

The Riverhead Police Department averaged 82 arrests per month for the first nine months of 2019, but averaged 26 per month for the same period this year, according to data provided by the department.

Police made 33 arrests in September, slightly higher than the monthly average this year and slightly higher than the 27 arrests made in August — but down significantly from the 77 arrests made in September 2019.

Riverhead Police made 237 arrests between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 this year, compared to 737 arrests during the same period last year — a nearly 68% decline.

Criminal incidents reported to Riverhead Police in 2020 so far fell 7.7% in 2020, compared to the first nine months of 2019. From January to September in 2019, there were 1,504 criminal incidents reported to Riverhead Police, an average of 163 per month; in the same period this year, Riverhead Police received 1,396 reports of criminal incidents, an average of 155 per month.

Reports of grand larceny, stolen vehicles, fraud, identity theft, harassment, fireworks and criminal trespass were up significantly this year to date, compared to the first nine months of 2019. Reports of petit larceny, burglary, criminal mischief, aggravated harassment and criminal contempt were down significantly January-September this year compared to the same period last year.

In September there were 175 criminal incidents reported to Riverhead Police, up from 129 criminal incidents reported in September 2019. They were:

  • Assault – 3
  • Attempted Burglary – 1
  • Burglary – 2
  • Criminal Contempt – 3
  • Criminal Mischief – 21
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property – 1
  • Criminal Trespass – 2
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child – 2
  • Fireworks – 4
  • Forcible Touching – 1
  • Forgery – 1
  • Fraud – 9
  • Graffiti – 3
  • Grand Larceny – 16
  • Harassment – 38
  • Identity Theft – 5
  • Illegal Dumping – 3
  • Menacing – 1
  • Petit Larceny – 54
  • Public Lewdness – 1
  • Rape – 1
  • Robbery – 1
  • SLA Check 1
  • Stolen Vehicle -1

Riverhead Police made 33 arrests in September. They were:

  • Aggravated Unlicensed Operation – 2
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property – 3
  • Criminal Contempt – 2
  • DWI – 12
  • Endangering the Welfare od a Child -1
  • Feeing form an officer -1
  • Grand Larceny – 4
  • Harassment – 4
  • Robbery – 2
  • Sex Abuse – 1
  • Town Code Violation – 1

The number of prisoners held by police this year fell dramatically — by more than 74% — compared to last year: 147 this year compared to 573 in 2019. This data likely reflects the changes to New York State laws that took effect in January, which eliminated cash bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies — in addition to the sharp decline in arrests by Riverhead Police in 2020.

Riverhead Police detained 12 prisoners in September, compared to 64 prisoners in September 2019.

There were 63 domestic incidents reported by police in September, down from 78 in September 2019.

Police report receiving 2,096 reports of noncriminal incidents in September, down 14% from 2,446 noncriminal incidents reported in September 2019. These included 306 aided cases, which are usually calls for medical assistance that come in through 911.

The number of summonses also fell year over year, from 761 in September 2019 to 575 in September this year. Of the summonses issued in September, 151 were parking tickets.

There were 146 motor vehicle accidents in September, down 12% compared to last year. None were fatal, according to police data.

Revenues collected by the department increased more than five-fold in September compared to August, the result of a sharp increase in alarm fees collected. The police department collected $20,648 in alarm fees in September, up from $1,985 in August and from $4,036 in September 2019.

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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.