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Burglar Nabbed In Plainview's Old T.B. Ward

Massapequa man accused of attempting to steal copper wire from former county property; second similar incident there in a year.

A Massapequa man was accused Wednesday of attempting to rip valuable copper wiring from the old Tuberculosis Hospital on the grounds of the former Nassau County complex in Plainview.

said they found James A. Vitale, 48 of 340 Massachusetts Ave., Massapqequa, inside the about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday as he attempted to remove copper wiring.

However, an alarm was triggered at the building at 1425 Old Country Road, sending police from the Eighth Precinct to the .

Police located Vitale inside, where he was arrested without incident. Vitale is charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

This is the second time in the past year that was the target of burglars in that building: In March, an East Northport man broke into the old Nassau County Sanitarium and was nabbed with a trunk full of copper wire, police said. In that case, , 51, was discovered by police on routine patrol through the property. 

The sprawling property, now owned by Islander's owner , was once owned by Nassau County. It was home to the county's long-since abandoned isolation hospital for T.B. patients. The ruins of the neo-Georgian building contain copper wiring, which, in its various forms, can be valuable and sold as scrap to dealers.

Joe Dowd (Editor) January 26, 2012 at 06:23 AM
I'm convinced something should be done with this historic property that becomes a big asset to the community. I've been out there and it's beautiful, despite being a crumbling ruin. Does the community have any thoughts on the old T.B. hospital?
Debbie Gershow-Lindell January 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I agree! The property is beautiful! What do people need? Day care? Senior citizen housing? We don't need any more office buildings...Come on Mr. Wang, let's be creative!
Daniel Williams January 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Is that property up for sale? He will not spend a penny on it!
Debbie Gershow-Lindell January 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM
What is Plainivewers started writing him letters? Still don't know what us residents would like there......
Debbie Gershow-Lindell January 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Joe-You probably know more about this community than most.,.what do we need? Hopefully not another strip mall....people would flip if outlets showed up due to additional traffic...we have a terrific Y, child care programs, community pool, bowling alley, restaurants and shopping...what else is there?
Jack January 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Why not check out www.countrypointeatplainview.com This is what Mr. Wang and Mike Dubb are proposing for this site
Debbie Gershow-Lindell January 29, 2012 at 05:31 PM
It is all beautiful but I did not see anything about affordable housing for seniors. Hoping this is included somehow, expecially since newsday just reported a high number of people behind on their mortgages, seniors who must leave the area as they cannot affford to live here, etc.....
Joe Dowd (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Jack, Debbie and readers. From my quick look at the plan, the proposal doesn't include anything "affordable," as it is termed. The town board vehemently opposes any affordable housing and has said so. Mr. Venditto says that would be "urbanization." Beechwood's seems like a high-end proposal with some housing designed for "empty nesters," I can't find a reference to what happens to the old T.B. Hospital, which was my primary interest in the site from a historic standpoint. I'll look into this this week.
Joe Dowd (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 07:13 AM
And since you asked, Debbie, not that my opinion in this matters, I'd like to see the place remain a beautiful open park with the renovated T.B. hospital as a museum of science on one side, and a Long Island art or history (or both) museum on the other. All surrounded by open space. But I'm just dreaming, and there's no money for any of that. I suspect what ever they decide for there, it will cause a fight. I'll cover it.
Debbie Gershow-Lindell January 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM
"Urbanization???" Wow...not sure if that is sad or crazy.....or both. Let's just keep driving young people off LI so they can all move to North Carolina where life is less expensive.....Any idea when the T.B. hospital was built?
Joe Dowd (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Debbie: Yes. that's the phrase used frequently by Mr. Venditto. The ward was built in the 1930s. Here is a link to a story I wrote about the place: Thanks for your interest. http://patch.com/A-dGDH
Gone January 30, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Joe: I don’t remember exactly, but I thought that when Mr. Wang proposed “Old Plainview” there were senior quarters in the plan, plus other housing and shopping. I believe that plan was shot down and now we are asking for it in the new proposal. Just sayin’
Joe Dowd (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Thor: That plan was controversial, but it was before Patch came on the scene. I think from all this interest I better do a catch-up story this week. What seems different is that there is no hotel plan or specifically lower-income housing. It's high end condos, meaning no kids or few kids. But I'll check it out. Thanks for the input.
davarcher55 January 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM
A few months ago representatives from Beechwood knocked on my door and on my neighbors to introduce themselves and to talk about their proposal for the land. I felt that level of outreach was really great compared to how difficult it was to get information from Mr. Wang when he was pushing "Old Plainview". My notes show that 10% of the homes will be affordable housing for seniors and that the other homes will be partially for seniors only and partially for families.
Simba January 30, 2012 at 04:42 PM
With all of the foreclosures and the state of the economy these days, do we really need more housing, especially of this type. I don't believe this is in the best interests of this community. Face it people this will be more competition when it comes time to sell your house. And since they are new, they are in better condition. Where is the infrastucture to support this increase. Dumb Idea.

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