Cops probe similarities in purse snatchings

January 21 ,2011: Hicksville, NY, Two occupants of January 21 ,2011: Hicksville, NY, Two occupants of a black altima are being sought after commiting two pocket book snatchings within thirty minutes in the Hicksville, Levittown area. A employee of the Chase Bank in the Delco Plaza had her pocketbook grabbed by the passenger of that car and was dragged in the parking lot in front of the bank. She was transported by Nassau County Police ambulance to a local area hospital for treatment, unknown condition. Photo Credit: Photo by Jim Staubitser

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Nassau police said they are investigating possible similarities in six drive-by purse snatchings this week.

The incidents, which occurred over four days in Massapequa, Bethpage, Seaford, Hicksville and Levittown, have similar descriptions of the getaway car and the methods used to pull off the thefts, police said Friday.

In all of them, someone in a darker-colored vehicle approached a vehicle and either quickly exited the car and stole the bag and fled - or lunged at the victim from inside the car without ever bothering to get out.

"It may be an emerging pattern," said the department's chief spokesman, Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.

There are no suspects, police said.

The possible spree began just days after police arrested two men whom they suspect in 14 purse snatchings along Nassau's South Shore. The men, Adesola Oguntunji, 20, of Westbury, and Lucson Desir, 22, of New Cassel, have been charged in one of the incidents and are suspected in the other 13, police said.

This week, three of the drive-by incidents occurred over the course of a half-hour on Friday, police said.

In the first, at 12:35 p.m. at a Levittown BJ's store on Hempstead Turnpike, a man in his early 20s grabbed a 65-year-old woman's handbag out of a shopping cart while she was putting purchases in her car trunk. He fled in a dark-colored Nissan.

Nine minutes later, near South Broadway in Hicksville, a 31-year-old victim fell to the ground and was dragged about 8 feet after a female assailant grabbed at the victim's handbag from her shoulder, police said. The suspects got the handbag, and the victim went to the hospital with leg injuries.

And at 1 p.m., on Jerusalem Avenue and Old Country Road, a woman got out of the passenger side of a car and grabbed a handbag from a 28-year-old woman. The victim fell to the ground and hurt her hand.

Earlier this week, purses were stolen from women at a Long Island Rail Road station in Massapequa on Tuesday, at a King Kullen supermarket on Stewart Avenue in Bethpage on Wednesday and at a Pathmark in Seaford on Merrick Road on Thursday.

In the Pathmark theft, the 54-year-old victim described the suspect's vehicle as a black sports car whose driver suddenly pulled up from behind and grabbed her pocketbook. The handbag was found a short time later - minus the cash - abandoned near the Wantagh State Parkway, police said. She suffered a bump on her forehead in the robbery.

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