The suspects who stole a Suffolk County fire chief’s marked vehicle from a firehouse have been arrested after a wild chase.
Police say it started when an East Moriches fire chief had his running SUV stolen from the parking lot of the Center Moriches Fire Department just after 12:30 a.m.
With the Center Moriches Fire Department hosting their annual dinner on Saturday night, members of the East Moriches Fire Department were at their colleagues’ firehouse on standby. According to a dispatcher at the Center Moriches Fire Department, the dinner was off-site, so there were few vehicles in the lot.
At about 1:15 a.m., one of those standby members noticed the vehicle, a running 2012 Chevy Tahoe with keys in the ignition, was missing, and called Suffolk County Police.
According to Suffolk County Police, surveillance video from the Center Moriches Fire Department building shows two men entering the vehicle, and driving east on Montauk Highway. Suffolk County Police vehicles, as well as their aviation units, convassed the area to no avail initially.
Suffolk County cops, with the assistance aviation units, fanned out before spotting the stolen vehicle in Rocky Point at around 7:30 a.m., which then sped down Route 25A toward Riverhead, cops said.
Authorities followed the thieves as they hopelessly continued east before entering Southampton, where they ran over a “stop strip” that had been set up by police in order to deflate the SUV’s tires and bring the chase to an end.
One of the vehicles tires was ripped clean off the rim before the driver lost control and crashed into a snow bank near Montauk Highway and North Bay Avenue at around 8 a.m., according to Suffolk County police.