Police Catch Burglar

Telltale tire tracks led to a speedy arrest

    Quick work by the East Hampton Village detective squad resulted in the arrest this week of Daniel Monteiro, 24, of East Hampton, on multiple charges related to the burglary of an oceanfront Lily Pond Lane house on Friday morning as well as a break-in on Talkhouse Walk last Thursday afternoon.
    One clue that led police to call Mr. Monteiro “a person of interest” was a set of tire tracks across a lawn, leading from one driveway to another at the Lily Pond Lane house, which is owned by  Josephine Chaus, a fashion designer and clothing manufacturer.
    “Right from the beginning, you’re dealing with a person with knowledge of the property,” Detective Sgt. Matt Bennett said Tuesday, hours after Mr. Monteiro’s morning arraignment. According to the detective, an outsider would not have known that by driving across the large lawn, one could reach a second exit from the estate.
    With Detective Greg Brown heading the investigation, the squad zeroed in on Mr. Monteiro after learning that the Lily Pond Lane residence and the house on Talkhouse Walk, which are a few miles apart, had one thing in common: the same caretaker.
    Mr. Bennett stressed that the caretaker was not considered a suspect. Rather, it was her son, who was familiar with both properties.
    Village police brought him in for questioning on Monday, joined by detectives from the town, who were investigating the Talkhouse Walk burglary. Mr. Monteiro soon confessed to the crimes, the detective said.
    Both houses were protected by burglar alarms, and both of them went off. In the first incident, an East Hampton Town police officer was sent to the Talkhouse Walk address, where Scan Security had reported a break-in. A Scan employee met the officer there and disarmed the alarm, which was set off when a double-paned glass back door was shattered. The alarm apparently scared off the intruder, though not before four $20 bills, which were lying near the point of entry, were stolen. Valuable electronics inside the house were untouched.
    Such was not the case at about 5:30 the next morning, when Mr. Monteiro allegedly struck the Lily Pond Lane house, which is in village police juisdiction. Detectives said he got in by smashing a glass pane in the entryway and reaching in to open the front door.
    This time, despite the alarm, he removed a Mac laptop, which has since been recovered, before speeding away, leaving telltale tire tracks across Ms. Chaus’s lawn.
    Mr. Monteiro faces two counts of burglary in the second degree, two charges of criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, and possession of stolen property. Justice Catherine Cahill set bail in East Hampton Town Justice Court at $10,000. Mr. Monteiro, unable to meet it, was taken to the county jail in Riverside.