Suspect’s apprehension expected to bring burglaries to an end

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

A string of burglaries in Suffolk came to a sudden halt when a suspect was arrested and charged with the crimes, Suffolk Police said Tuesday.

According to Suffolk Police Officer Mike Simpkins, it was a call to Suffolk’s &uot;Crime Line&uot; program that led police to arrest the suspect, Christopher Harmon Cooper, of 120 Franklin Street. Cooper was apparently using an alias that helped him elude police for more than a month, said the officer.

Cooper and another unknown suspect were the focus of an ongoing investigation and police officers, detectives and members of the Special Investigations Unit had watched the downtown area for more than a month, however, they were unable to obtain sufficient information to charge the suspects.

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In spite of the extra manpower and investigation, the suspect eluded police until the Crime Line call. Detectives obtained a warrant to search the suspect’s residence and recovered electronics, jewelry and other personal items that had been reported stolen totaling approximately $1,500.

Cooper was arrested Oct. 4, by the Suffolk Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section and he was charged with two residential burglaries, two business burglaries, one count of grand larceny, one count of attempted grand larceny, and one count of petit larceny from a business.

Simpkins said the investigation is continuing in an effort to locate additional suspects who police say may be involved in these crimes. He asked that anyone with information call Suffolk Crime Line at 539-1222.

Callers to Crime Line never give their names and they are rewarded with cash when an arrest is made. Callers do not testify in court, and anyone with knowledge of any type of crime is encouraged to call the Crime Line phone. Simpkins serves as the Crime Line officer and as such is sometimes away from his desk or out of the office. Callers may leave information on the answering machine and a number where they may be reached. Simpkins will return the call, not asking for a name, but he will assign a number to the caller who may pick up his cash reward at a local bank by using that number. Once at the bank, the person receiving the award will not give their name, only the Crime Line assigned number. Rewards of up to $1,000 or more are paid, depending upon the severity and nature of the crime. Police are not interested in who the caller is, only what information they can provide to help solve crimes like this string of burglaries.

In some instances, calls to Crime Line are the means to clean up an area of the city where felons are active. For more information on Crime Line, call Simpkins at the Crime Line number, 539-1222, or at his office, 923-2173.