Long Island

5 Kids From LI Youth Facility Arrested for Window-Smashing Burglary Spree

Five teens, ages 14 to 16, from the Mercy First facility in Syosset are now facing a litany of burglary charges

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NBC New York

Five kids living at a Long Island youth facility are now facing charges after window-smashing break-ins at a series of Syosset businesses on Tuesday.

Nassau County Police responded to the area of Cold Spring Road for a report of glass breaks at a long list of businesses, including a bakery, a dry cleaner, a sushi place, a pharmacy and a wine shop.

The investigation ultimately ended up at the Mercy First facility on Convent Road, where cops arrested five teens.

A boy and a girl, both 16, now face eight counts of burglary in the third degree and were arraigned as adults Wednesday. Police said the boy was previously arrested on May 31 and June 3 on other burglary charges; a judge set bail for him at $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond. The girl was put on electronic monitoring and subject to random drug testing and a curfew.

Three more kids - a girl, 15, and two boys, 14 - also face eight counts of third-degree burglary and will be due in Family Court later this month.

The arrests are once again drawing attention to Mercy First, which has seen a massive increase in runaways in recent years.

In the first nine months of 2021, more than 180 ran away from the facility for abused and neglected kids, more than double the number from the year prior. Over the last month, Nassau County authorities have publicly reported at least another dozen instances of kids going missing.

Under pressure from neighbors and local authorities to do more, the facility released a statement last year saying “we work closely with local authorities to ensure that the children place here can benefit the mot from our care, remain safe and when they leave campus, return safely.”

Nearly 2 dozen children have run away from a Long Island group home. Greg Cergol reports.
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