(East Moriches, NY) Two homeless men who stole the East Moriches fire chief’s marked SUV last month from a firehouse parking lot pleaded not guilty to grand larceny charges today in Suffolk criminal court, District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
A dated view of Center Moriches Firehouse where Raymond Peruggi and Corey Smith allegedly took the 2012 Chevy Tahoe. NewsLI.com file photo by Christopher Tozzi.
Raymond Peruggi and Corey Smith allegedly took the 2012 Chevy Tahoe from the front of the Center Moriches Firehouse around 1:00 AM on January 26. When the vehicle was spotted traveling on County Route 83 in Brookhaven Town in Rocky Point about seven hours later, police followed the pair to Eastport where Peruggi lost control of the stolen SUV and struck a snowbank alongside Montauk Highway, near North Bay Avenue.
District Attorney Spota said Raymond Peruggi, 23, is a prior felony offender who was discharged from an upstate correctional facility on January 15 of this year after serving a three-year prison term for possessing stolen property.
During today’s arraignment, Peruggi’s attorney asked the court that his client be evaluated for drug treatment. A court conference before Suffolk County Judge Martin Efman will be held to consider the defendant for the “Judicial Diversion Program” on March 10.
In addition to grand larceny in the third degree, the indictment charges Peruggi with Unlawful Fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, speeding, failure to stay in lane, failure to stop at a red light and making an unsafe turn.
Peruggi is in the Suffolk County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. Corey Smith is incarcerated in lieu of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond, and will return to court on February 18.