Afghanistan veteran’s home robbed twice by former resident, police say

An Afghanistan war veteran’s home was robbed two times within a month by a former resident of the New York residence, police say.

Petty Officer First Class Stephen Moore returned from Afghanistan in April after three tours, using his hard-earned money to buy a dream home for himself and his wife in Long Island, N.Y., CBS New York reported. Moore and his wife got the keys to their Glen Cove home in July.

Weeks later, the couple realized that jewelry, cash and electronics worth thousands had been stolen.

“I said to my wife, ‘Where’s the computer?’ She said, ‘On the bench.’ I said, ‘No,’ then all of a sudden a little panic sets in,” Moore told CBS.

Glen Cove Police were able to track some of the stolen jewelry. Then, posing as potential buyers, they reached out to Michael Petikas, who they eyed as the prime suspect in the robberies, according to the station.

Petikas, 31, used to live in Moore’s house, and, while the home’s locks had been changed, he was able to take advantage of another entry.

“Turns out one of the windows in the back den was defective and he would know that because he lived in the house,” said Glen Cove police Detective Lt. John Nagle.

Petikas is charged with two counts of burglary.

Moore said he and his wife are happy that the suspect is in custody and they can begin to enjoy their new home.