A Riverhead man pleaded guilty last week to stealing from and burglarizing Lowe’s in Riverhead throughout November 2021, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney.
Terry Smith, 60, stole several items and burglarized the home improvement store in three separate incidents that month, according to the investigation and Smith’s admission during his plea allocution, the district attorney’s office said in a press release.
Smith pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and third-degree burglary, both class D felonies, on May 16. He is due back in court on June 14.
Smith stole numerous items from the store with a value of more than 3,000, including hedge trimmers, spray gun kits and a chainsaw, on Nov. 10, 2021, according to the press release. Smith was captured on surveillance footage exiting the store with the items in a shopping cart without paying.
On Nov. 24, 2021, Smith was spotted in the store by an asset protection safety manager who had seen the footage of the Nov. 10 incident, the press release states. The employee followed Smith throughout the store as he loaded two power tools into a shopping cart; Smith approached a register with the items, placed them on the counter, but left without paying for them, according to the press release.
Smith was caught on camera the next evening, Nov. 25, 2021 — Thanksgiving night — breaking into the store by ramming and shattering two sliding glass doors with a steel beam, according to the press release. He stole three power tools, identified by the asset protection manager, and located and arrested “wearing the same pants he was observed wearing in the surveillance video.”
“Local retail stores lose money when items are stolen from their shelves and it’s the law-abiding consumer that ends up paying for it. Businesses are forced to either raise the cost of their goods, start locking up everything on the aisles or leave communities all together,” Tierney said in a statement. “These types of crimes have a damaging effect on our economy and local communities. We will not stand idly by and allow it. Those caught burglarizing and stealing from businesses, like this defendant, will go to jail.”
Smith initially pleaded not guilty when he was indicted on the charges, which at the time also included a misdemeanor petit larceny charge. Smith was arrested by Riverhead Town Police on Nov. 26, 2021 at the Greenview Motel, and was held in lieu of cash bail at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverside after his arraignment.
Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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