News Alert
Silver Alert Issued for Missing Port Jeff Man

Crimes Nearby: Cops Say Woman Ran Fake Fundraising Scheme

The following arrest information was supplied by the Suffolk County Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction.


Police said a Port Jefferson Station woman was recently arrested after she was caught attempting to scam people for donations that she said were for a children's educational program, while using the money to buy drugs.

Police responded responded to a location on Route 25 in Centereach on Saturday around 3 p.m., and said they found Ellen Burkheimer pretending to represent Head Start, which provides education and health services for children in low-income families.

According to police, Burkheimer had fraudulent documents in her possession as part of the scheme and further investigation revealed that she was using funds that she received to purchase heroin, pay her rent, and for other various personal expenses. She was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of scheme to defraud in the second degree and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

According to online court records, she was held on $3,000 cash bail, which she was unable to pay, and is due back in court on Friday.


A 17-year-old Bay Shore boy was arrested on Jan. 5 in Smithtown on petty larceny charges, a misdemeanor. The boy allegedly stole two PlayStation controllers, valued at $110, from under a store counter.

Suffolk County Police are seeking information leading to the arrest of a man who burglarized three Mavis Discount Tire locations late last year, including the Smithtown location. According to police, a white, bald man who appeared to be in his 50s with a stocky build, stole cash and New York State inspection stickers in October and November. Police said the man also stole from the 222 West Main Street in Smithtown location as well as the Centereach and Shirley locations. Information leading to an arrest could be given to Crime Stoppers anonymously by calling 1-800-220-TIPS.


Sufian Ali, 21, of North Babylon, was charged with third degree grand larceny, a felony, on Jan. 4 in Kings Park. According to police, Sufian changed the dollar amount on a check for more than it was written for and deposited it at a Chase bank on 35 Woods Road in North Babylon.

Karl Werkheiser, 24, of Kings Park, was charged on with fourth degree grand larceny, a felony, on Jan. 3 in Nesconset. According to police, Werkheiser stole a Chase ATM debit card and used it to withdraw money.

justken January 10, 2013 at 08:54 PM
I remember giving her $10 last year in Port Jeff. We were sitting a bench and she came up to us with a clipboard and was speaking real fast. She said she even lived nearby. Sad to know my money didn't go where it was intended.
michael mirra January 11, 2013 at 02:00 AM
The craziest fraud I ever heard of in fundraising was told to me by my Father. He passed over a decade ago & would have been 105 if still alive, so this all happened a very long time ago. Years ago, most likely in the 1940s, or 50s a guy in his neighborhood had the last name of Polio. In those days, Polio was a major crippling desease with no known cure. He mistakenly thought that because it was his legal name he could run an advertisment to the New York newspapers with his PO Box & the words SEND YOUR $ TO POLIO. The $ started pouring in & law enforcement severly frowned upon it.
just me January 12, 2013 at 08:43 PM
She approached my husband while he was filling up at Hess in Stony Brook a couple of weeks ago. I told him she was strung out on something..she spoke so fast and talked about her disabled son going on trips. It was so sketchy, but we wanted to get rid of her so he gave her $5


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