Centereach Man Pleads Guilty to Vandalizing Red Light Cameras

Stephen Ruth has been hailed as a hero by some for tampering with unpopular red light cameras.

The self-described Red Light Robinhood has struck a plea deal with Suffolk County prosecutors that will spare him prison time for vandalizing more than a dozen red light cameras countywide, authorities said.

Stephen Ruth pleaded guilty at Suffolk County court to one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief and was sentenced to one year of probation.

The Centereach man admitted to tampering with 17 red light cameras between the summer of 2015 and last spring, leaving the devices inoperable.

Prosecutors said the court will decide how much of the $85,000 in damage Ruth caused he will have to pay back.

After his initial arrest, Ruth had posted a video online encouraging others to also tamper with red light cameras. 

He also repeatedly testified before the Suffolk County Legislature, urging them to repeal the red light camera program, and unsuccessfully ran as a Libertarian Party candidate for New York State Senate while touting his red light camera crimes.