Thieves Steal Suffolk County (NY) Fire Chief’s SUV and Lead Police on Chase

Two bold joyriders led police on a wild chase across Long Island Sunday morning after stealing a Suffolk County fire chief’s idling SUV from a fire station parking lot, cops said.

The crooks hopped into the red 2012 Chevy Tahoe at around 1 a.m. after East Moriches Fire Chief Bryan Kelly left it parked with the engine running outside the Center Moriches Fire Department headquarters, cops said.

Surveillance video caught the bandits in the act and also showed them driving away east on Montauk Highway, cops said.

Suffolk County cops scoured the area with patrol cars and helicopters, but the stolen vehicle wasn’t located until about 7:20 a.m., when someone spotted it on Route 25A in Rocky Point and called 911.

Cops chased the official SUV for about 40 minutes as it sped through Shoreham, Riverhead, Quogue and Southampton. The pursuit finally ended in Southampton village after cops set up a spiked “stop strip” that blew out the SUV’s front passenger-side tire and tore it clean off the rim as the vehicle headed west on Montauk Highway.

The SUV then skidded out of control and crashed into a snow bank at a parking lot near North Bay Avenue, denting both front fenders.

No one was injured in the incident, and cops arrested Center Moriches residents Raymond Peruggi and Corey Smith, both 23. Each was charged with grand larceny.

Chief Kelly said he was at the Center Moriches firehouse because members of his department were there covering for local firefighters who were attending an annual awards dinner.

“My guys were protecting their district overnight, so I came in to check on them,” Kelly told The Southampton Press.

But when he got a call to respond to a medical emergency, “I ran out to get my car, and it just wasn’t there.”

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