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5 Men Accused Of Impersonating Police To Burglarize Long Island Homes

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Five men face charges that they impersonated plainclothes detectives to burglarize homes on Long Island.

A 29-count indictment unsealed Wednesday charges the suspects with burglary, robbery, attempted robbery, conspiracy and criminal impersonation.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said the suspects donned business suits, wore fake police badges and identified themselves as detectives to occupants at the homes of known drug dealers.

"And once they gained entrance into the house, they would brandish handguns, handcuff the people inside of the home and then ransack the home, getting as much as they possibly could," Spota told reporters, including WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

5 Men Accused Of Impersonating Police To Burglarize Long Island Homes

The suspects burglarized eight homes in Wyandanch, North Bay Shore, Bay Shore, North Babylon, Deer Park and Mastic, the DA said. Prosecutors say the men were arrested March 26 while en route to commit another home invasion.

Bail was set at $1 million for each of the suspects. They are due back in court next month.

Attorney Channing Curry, who is representing one of the suspects, said outside criminal court Wednesday, "As Winston Churchill said, step by step," he said.

Spota said it was good detective work that led to the arrests of the five suspects, three of whom have violent criminal histories.

The DA said the suspects all met in an upstate jail where they were doing time.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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