The man police say burglarized two Northwest Woods residences on Sammys Beach Road on either January 30 or 31 wrote and signed a statement that amounts to a full confession, according to the East Hampton Town Police Department. Justin Williams, 23, of Middle Island, was charged with two counts of burglary after his arrest the afternoon of February 24. The alleged crime, it appears, was one of opportunity.
It is not clear from the documents on file at East Hampton Town Justice Court on which of the last two days of January the alleged crimes occurred, since both dates are used on different documents.
Among the items police reported stolen were a nickel-plated 12-gauge Remington 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum Pump-Action, a Bowie knife, and a bottle of Lucien Crochet Sancerre. Though the police distributed a surveillance camera image of the suspect, which was published by local media outlets, including The Independent, it was the bottle of Sancerre that allegedly did Williams in.
Williams told East Hampton detectives he was working for One Call Concepts Locating Services at the time of the incidents. He specializes in locating and flagging various underground electrical, telephone, and television cables, as well as water lines at sites before construction. On January 31, he said in his statement, he was assigned to a property on Sammys Beach Road, where the house was about to be demolished and replaced with another structure. When Williams arrived at the assigned address, he found two town employees posting a permit on the site.
After the employees left the property, Williams allegedly entered the house through an unlocked door. He reportedly told police in his confession that he “rummaged” through the house. Williams took a pair of blue Nike Lunarglide sneakers from the closet, and an open bottle of Lucien Crochet Sancerre from the refrigerator.
According to statements on file with police, after Williams finished drinking the wine, he left the bottle on the front yard, put on the Nikes, and went for “a walk on the beach.” After that, he entered a neighboring house, reportedly breaking and entering through a window in the living room. There, he allegedly found the shotgun and the knife. Williams reportedly told police in the statement he broke into a shed on the first property, as well.
Williams allegedly said the gun and knife were the only things he kept, and were hidden in the boiler room of the house he lives in with his family in Middle Island. Both items have since been retrieved by the police.
When police pulled Williams over on Montauk Highway in Wainscott on the afternoon of February 24, they had already obtained a latent fingerprint from the bottle of wine matching Williams’s right ring finger. Police had sent the empty bottle, along with a couple of other items they said Williams had left on the front yard, to the Suffolk County Crime Lab on February 5.
In the statement, Williams reportedly apologized for his actions, and wrote that he had never before abused his position at his place of work. Williams was released after being arraigned February 25 and is due back in court March 12.