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Cops: Montauk Man Crashed Stolen Van With $70k in Stolen Property

William A. Donnelly Jr. was armed and on drugs when he fled from police on Wednesday, Shelter Island cops say.

A Shelter Island police chase led to the arrest of a Montauk man who was reportedly in possession of about $70,000 in proceeds from burglaries around East Hampton.

Following his arrest on Wednesday, William A. Donnelly Jr., 30, is being held at the Suffolk County jail in Riverside without bail.

Shelter Island Police Detective Sgt. Jack Thilberg said in a statement on Friday that police tried to pull over Donnelly in a stolen van on Route 114 on Wednesday at 3:56 p.m., but he refused, leading police a short case down Smith Street and Menantic Road. He ended up crashing on Menantic Road and exited his vehicle and fled on foot into a residential area.

"We suspected the van was stolen and knew the plates were stolen," Thilberg said by on Friday. "We also had reason to believe he was armed."

Two New York State K9 unit were called to the island and located Donnelly, who was hiding in a backyard shed nearby where he crashed.

"Upon further investigation, the defendant was determined to be under the influence of and in possession of drugs," the arrest report state. Inside the packed van, police found stolen property, including firearms, rare coins, jewelry, and other items. All of the items had been stolen from the East Hampton area.

East Hampton Village Detective Brian Eldridge said on Friday that a burglary had been reported on Barnes Lane on Wednesday. A neighbor said he saw suspicious activities at the house just after 9 a.m. Items from the burglary were found in the crashed van, which was believed to have been taken from a driveway on Osborn Lane.

So far, Shelter Island police have charged Donnelly with second- and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, petty larceny, operating a vehicle with impaired by drugs, reckless driving, resisting arrest, and numerous traffic violations.

Thilberg said Donnelly was charged with possession of Arazapan, Viocdin, and marijuana.

The detective declined to specify what kind of firearms Donnelly had in the van or how many burglaries Donnelly's arrest might solve.

Donnelly was arraigned in Shelter Island Justice Court and the case will be presented to a Suffolk County grand jury next week. Additional charges are anticipated.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker said the Shelter Island Police Department demonstrated good police work in this bust. "They did a fantastic job," he said.

Town Police Detective Sgt. Chris Anderson was not immediately available for comment.

Joan May 19, 2012 at 07:05 AM
What made police notice van and run plates?
bernette May 19, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Was this the same family from to antique shop in eh village that got caught stealing
honorable May 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM
When families snitch, its a bitch. His aunt in the carolinas informed the police.
honorable May 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Oh, and he has major mental health issues. People like to leave that kind of stuff out. Self medicating on street drugs. Not like its an excuse, but should be thought over by outsiders.

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