Update: Fleischmann pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Suffolk County Criminal Court Tuesday. He is being held on $1 million bail.
A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary and arson of Eric Carver's East Patchogue home, Suffolk police confirmed Thursday.
Harry Fleischmann Jr., of East Patchogue, allegedly stole items from Carver's home on Lake Drive, poured gasoline on the steps of the house and then ignited the gasoline with a match before fleeing in Carver's pickup truck on the afternoon of Dec. 27, according to court documents obtained by Patch.
Carver, the president of the Swan Lake Park Civic Association and a master sergeant with the Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing, has been deployed in Africa since September and is due back home in the coming weeks.
Fleischmann, 33, according to a felony complaint issued against him, admitted to obtaining keys to Carver's home from a truck he stole in the prior days.
Fleischmann first entered Carver's home on the morning of Dec. 26 and he told police that he stole a camera, Turkish coins and a wallet with a credit card in it, court documents state.
A day later, Fleischmann returned to the home around 4 p.m. and allegedly stole a 9mm handgun, ammo and a New York State Police badge from a storage box. Carver is a New York State Police trooper.
Fleischmann then grabbed a bunch of keys from the house and used one of them to drive off in Carver's pickup truck after setting the house on fire, according to court documents. The truck was found a couple days later a block away from Fleischmann's Clinton Avenue home.
Fleischmann, who was arrested on January 16, is charged with two counts of second degree burglary, fourth degree grand larceny and third degree arson related to the incidents at Carver's home. He also faces a slew of other charges as police contend that Fleischmann admitted to numerous other burglaries and thefts in the area.
Among them: on December 20, Fleischmann is charged with stealing a Chevy Avalanche on Route 112 in Patchogue. "She left the truck running while going into the store so I jumped in and drove away," he allegedly told police of the incident.
On January 4, Fleischmann allegedly burglarized Utter Delight in East Patchogue during the overnight hours. On January 9, he is charged with breaking into Bayport Wine and Liquor on Montauk Highway. Fleischmann allegedly told police he backed a vehicle he had stolen from Baron Honda into the front door of the liquor store. "That was a good score. I got like $1,200," he said according to court documents.
Fleischmann, who was due back in First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday, is currently being held on $100,000 cash bail. Fleischmann has been in and out of prison since 2000 due to burglary convictions and parole violations, according to the New York State Department of Corrections website.
Carver, long known for his generosity and community service, has received plenty of help from his neighbors in the Swan Lake community since his home was destroyed in the fire.
A total of $22,000 has been raised so far to help rebuild Carver's home, including $10,000 from a recent bake sale, according to Patricia Sitler, who lives next door to Carver. Demolition of the home started last week, but the rebuilding effort is now waiting on the necessary permits to proceed, Sitler said.
A blood drive this weekend, a benefit dinner next month and a Pampered Chef party in March are all set to take place to help Carver, she said.
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