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2023 Year In Review — Shelter Island Police Department investigating two Silver Beach break-ins: Local department assisted by County Crime Lab and D.A.

This story was published in July 2023. As of this writing, there have been no arrests.

In the second week of April, Shelter Island Police were called to a Silver Beach residence on Peconic Avenue to investigate a break-in with significant vandalism to the interior. A week later another break-in was discovered.

Both are being “actively investigated,” Det. Sgt. Jack Thilberg said.

Silver Beach residents are not just concerned, but “deeply concerned,” Councilman Jim Colligan told the Reporter Saturday.

It wasn’t just trespassing, but the damage left by the perpetrators was “major,” said Mr. Colligan, a former president of the Silver Beach Civic Association.

He knows the homeowner whose property was damaged, and was on the scene not long after the crime was reported. Mr. Colligan said the damage looked to him to be “malicious,” with broken furniture, a musical instrument broken and lamps smashed, among other scenes of destruction. “Clothes were tried on and clothes were ripped. It was obvious they were drinking and partying over a period of time,” Mr. Colligan said.

A nearby neighbor, who preferred not to give her name, was also at the house not long after the break-in was discovered.

“It was very scary,” she said, describing how the vandals took knives from a wooden holder in the kitchen and “slashed beds, and every down comforter and pillow.”

The vandals also carved a threatening obscenity in a wall along with a grotesque sexual image, the neighbor said. “It seemed so … angry,” she said. She and other neighbors offered the homeowners a place to stay and also brought food for them in the aftermath of the shocking discoveries.

The second incident was similar, and Det. Thilberg said “we believe they are related.”

The seriousness of the crimes, and the extent of the investigation by the Shelter Island Police Department, are such that Det. Thilberg said, the “Suffolk County Crime Laboratory and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office are assisting us in the investigation.”