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Police Officer Sean Freely named Rockville Centre's 'Cop of the Month'

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Officer Sean Freely was recognized as Rockville Centre’s “Cop of the Month” during the village board’s meeting on March 4 for his performance of duty that resulted in the arrest of a man for alleged burglary, grand larceny and criminal mischief.

While on patrol on Dec. 6, at about 2:45 a.m., Freely responded to a call for a disturbance behind 345 Sunrise Highway, which is Anton’s Car Care. Within a minute, he arrived at the scene and observed a person wearing a black jacket flee from a black 2008 Cadillac Escalade to the south side of the building.

Police officer Brian Vacchio, who was also on scene, saw the man attempting to hide behind the gasoline pumps. When the officers stopped the suspect, he became “elusive” and refused to provide information, according to Police Commissioner James Vafeades.

A further investigation by Freely found that the building’s rear garage window was broken, an adjustable wrench was used to disconnect the linkage from the garage door to open it, and the 2008 Escalade was being stolen. Freely also recovered a black jacket on the side of the building where the suspect ditched it while fleeing the scene.

A review of video surveillance confirmed that the suspect, Ruben Pichardo-Ramirez, was the person responsible for damaging property, entering the building and removing the vehicle, Vafeades noted in a letter the village officials. Freely arrested Pichardo-Ramirez, who provided a full sworn admission of crimes at Police Headquarters. He was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal mischief. At the time of the arrest, Pichardo-Ramirez had three open arrest warrants for assault, criminal contempt and driving while intoxicated.

“For the diligence, dedication to duty, and highly professional conduct that [Police officer] Freely displayed in regard to this occurrence,” Vafeades wrote, “it is my pleasure to congratulate him on a job well done!”