Cops arrest three in 5 pharmacy burglaries

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Three men have been arrested in a string of pharmacy burglaries over an eight-day span, Nassau police said Tuesday.

The robberies occurred between Sept. 22 and Monday, police said.

Robbery Squad detectives said the suspects were arrested Monday after burglaries earlier that day at two pharmacies -- Locust Valley Chemists, at 60 Forest Ave., and Glen Head Pharmacy, at 699 Glen Cove Ave.

The break-ins occurred between midnight and about 1 a.m., with the suspects entering both times by smashing the glass front door, according to police.

Third Precinct officers who responded to the burglary in Glen Head saw one suspect, whom they identified as Casey Arena, 19, of Hicksville, inside the store. He tried to run away but was apprehended, police said.

The other suspects, Steven Rose, 20, and Steven Cross, 21, drove off in a white car driven by Cross, police said. The car was stopped by Old Brookville Police, and Rose and Cross were arrested.

Detectives said they have connected Arena to three other drugstore burglaries: Harry's Pharmacy & Surgicals, 333 S. Broadway, in Hicksville, Sept. 22; Duane Reade, 1149 Merrick Ave., North Merrick, Sept. 28; and Meadow Drugs, 353 Newbridge Rd., East Meadow, Sept. 28.

In each robbery, prescription drugs were taken with the intent to sell them for profit, police said.

Arena faces five counts of third-degree burglary, and first- and second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Rose, of Hicksville, and Cross, of East Meadow, are each charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and first- and second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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Arena and Rose, arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead, were each held on bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. Cross was held on bail of $35,000 cash or $70,000 bond.

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