Today’s news:

Man accused of stealing from 8 LIC businesses

A 47-year-old Port Washington, L.I., man was charged with multiple counts of burglary and larceny last week for allegedly stealing multiple items equivalent to thousands of dollars from eight businesses in Long Island City, the Queens district attorney said.

Richard Wright was charged with burglary, grand larceny, criminal mischief and petit larceny July 20, according to Queens DA Richard Brown. He has been held without bail and ordered to return to court Aug. 4. If convicted of these crimes, he faces 49 years in prison.

“The defendant is accused of being a one-man crime wave and brazenly breaking into businesses and helping himself to everything from paper cups to power tools,” Brown said. “Small business owners have struggled — like everyone else — during the economic downturn and don’t need to worry about replacing valuable tools and paying to fix broken locks and windows. The defendant must be held accountable for his actions.”

In the criminal complaint, Officer Brett Huzar of the Patrol Borough Queens North Anti-Crime Unit, said he and other officers conducted undercover surveillance of Wright and his vehicle, a 1999 GMC Sierra. Using video surveillance, Huzar said he saw Wright driving to Sparks Deli at 28-31 Borden Ave. in Long Island City and burglarizing the store on July 4 and July 5, according to the complaint.

On July 18 around 11:20 p.m., Huzar saw Wright entering the lot of Navillus Contracting at 53-18 11th St. in Long Island City. At 11:50 p.m., Huzar said he watched Wright come back to his Sierra and drive it to Alexandous Deli at 39-37 30th St. in Long Island City, according to the complaint. Huzar said Wright went inside the deli for 10 minutes, then left the deli and drove away in his Sierra.

The complaint said Huzar spoke to the owner of the deli, who told him Wright had allegedly agreed to sell him a tool box and tools, plus two drills for $60, which the owner had in his possession, expecting Wright to come back later for the money. Huzar said he later spoke to the owner of Navillus, who told him the tools and tool box had allegedly been stolen from a truck in his lot between July 18 and July 19.

The Queens DA’s office said Wright was arrested by Patrol Borough North and the 108th Precinct July 19.

Wright also is accused of breaking into seven businesses between June 28 and July 18, the DA’s office said. Some of the items he allegedly stole included cups, plates, trash bags, tool boxes and scaffolding, the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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