Man arrested in connection to Long Island church burglaries: police

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — A man was arrested Wednesday for breaking into and stealing from several churches on Long Island, police said.

William Stepnowski, 40, was taken into custody and faces charges including third-degree burglary, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and was also charged with an outstanding warrant, police said.

Detectives encountered a man who was in possession of heroin while conducting surveillance in Shirley as a result of the recent church burglaries, according to cops.

Following investigation, it was determined Stepnowski was involved in at least six reported church burglaries in Shirley and Bellport between Feb. 24 and Apr. 7:

  • Saint John the Theologian Orthodox Church, located at 158 West End Ave. in Shirley, on Feb. 24 at 1:30 a.m.
  • Assembly of God Church, located at 27 McGraw St. in Shirley, on Mar. 4 at 1:45 a.m.
  • Assembly of God Church, located at 27 McGraw St. in Shirley, on Mar. 7 at 1:45 a.m.
  • Saint John the Theologian Orthodox Church, located at 158 West End Ave. in Shirley, on Mar. 9 at 9 p.m.
  • Christ Episcopal Church, located at 64 South Country Road in Bellport, between Mar. 19 at 6 p.m. and Mar. 20 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saint John the Theologian Orthodox Church, located at 158 West End Ave. in Shirley on Apr. 7 at 1:45 a.m.

According to police, Stepnowski took cash and electronics from the churches.

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