Suffolk Police Chief under investigation over accusations he beat robbery suspect: report

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LONG ISLAND (PIX11) — Suffolk County Chief of Police James Burke is reportedly under investigation by the FBI after he allegedly attacked a suspect who broke into his department-owned SUV, Newsday is reporting.

If the allegations against Burke are proven to be true, they would elevate an already noteworthy violation of police department policy into something much more serious.

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The story revolves around the arrest of Christopher Loeb, 26, around 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 14 2012.  Authorities say, Loeb was arrested in his home in Smithtown on grand larceny, possession of stolen goods and other charges after more than a dozen cars had been broken into.  One of those cars was a police department-issued SUV which belonged to Chief Burke.

From that vehicle, the alleged thief stole the chief’s gun belt, ammunition, handcuffs and other, unnamed items that were in a duffel bag that had been in the SUV.

Police reports indicate that on the night of Loeb’s arrest, Chief Burke went into the young man’s home and confronted him, which is a serious violation of police policy.  In addition to that, according to the suspect and his family, the chief roughed him up, allegedly telling him “That’s what you get for taking somebody’s property.”