‘We need a better system’: Accused Nassau porch thief apologizes

Posted: Updated:
CEDARHURST -

A New Jersey man accused in a series of package thefts in Nassau County gave an apology and explanation for the thefts.

Surveillance video appears to show 22-year-old Justin Hines, of East Orange, New Jersey, taking two packages from a home in Cedarhurst. And police say he took more items from porches in nearby Woodmere.

Hines was arraigned Tuesday on three counts of petit larceny and was released on bail.

After the hearing, Hines spoke at length with News 12 and admitted to the crime. He said that he was a Rutgers University student who was kicked out after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he has been homeless since then.

"You know, we need a better system," Hines said. "It doesn't excuse my behavior, but I am apologetic."

Police say they found Hines after tips came in from people who saw the surveillance footage on the news.

To prevent package theft, Nassau Detective Vincent Garcia recommends having items shipped to a workplace, having the shipping service hold the items for pickup, asking a neighbor to grab the packages or installing a security system.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."