Suffolk police have charged three people with stealing bronze vases from a Pinelawn cemetery numerous times.
Officers from the First Precinct responded to a 911 call about a theft in progress at Pinelawn Cemetery on Wellwood Avenue about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, and found two men still at the cemetery driving a white 2010 Volkswagen Beetle -- a car police said had been seen during prior thefts at the cemetery.
When police tried to stop the car, the driver fled by driving through a locked gate. Police eventually caught up to the suspects about six miles away, at North Pine Drive and North Linden Street in North Massapequa.
Detectives also discovered that the driver, Nicholas Giambalvo, 27, and his passenger, Max Schneider, 24, and the owner of the car, Elizabeth Dono, 27, had been responsible for stealing about $53,000 worth of bronze vases at the cemetery, thefts that took place during two days in October as well as on Wednesday and Thursday.
Police said Giambalvo and Dono also are to blame for a burglary Dec. 12 in which they stole copper piping from a vacant home on Kime Avenue in North Babylon.
Giambalvo, of Etna Lane in Dix Hills, was charged with four counts of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree burglary, unlawfully fleeing an officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and resisting arrest.
Schneider, of Dix Circle in Dix Hills, was charged with two counts of third-degree grand larceny and resisting arrest.
Dono, of Amsterdam Avenue in North Babylon, was charged with grand larceny and third-degree burglary.
All three suspects are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Friday.