Cops: He stole from boats

Newsday Staff Writer

July 4, 2006

Southold police went fishing for a crook on eBay last week and reeled in a Smithtown man they believe ripped off an estimated $100,000 worth of electronics and fishing gear from dozens of boats in local marinas since October.

Jonathan J. Iavarone, 24, of 61 Redan Dr., was facing multiple grand larceny charges after his arrest Thursday at the Hauppauge post office as he tried to mail marine radios, navigation equipment and other items that police say he stole from docked boats and sold on the online auction site, authorities said yesterday.

"Once some of the items were spotted on eBay, that definitely made the investigation take a different turn," Police Capt. Martin Flatley said.

In addition to the items police say Iavarone was mailing at the time of his arrest, he is suspected of being involved in 42 other thefts of marine electronics at six marinas.

The stolen items - some of which were purchased by officers as part of the investigation - include depth finders, GPS equipment, radios, fishing tackle and binoculars with an estimated value of $100,000. Police say 19 of the thefts, some of which involved damage to boats, could be prosecuted as felonies.

According to the Suffolk County district attorney's office, Iavarone was charged with five counts of grand larceny at his arraignment Friday and was freed after posting $3,000 bail. If convicted of the current charges, he would face a maximum sentence of 37 years in prison. According to Robert Clifford, spokesman for the district attorney's office, Iavarone has no prior criminal record.

Southold Det. Joseph Conway said the investigation was a joint effort between Southold police, detectives with the DA's office and U.S. Postal Service officials. Conway would not explain how the auctioned items were initially linked to Iavarone, but he said investigators had been in touch with representatives of eBay.

"Through eBay, there are ways to find out who the account-holders are," he said.

The district attorney's office identified the affected businesses as Broadwater Cove Marina, Port of Egypt Marine, Albertson Marine and Goldsmith's Boat Shop, all in Southold; Cutchogue Harbor Marina in Cutchogue; and Mill Creek Marina in Sag Harbor.
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