Trio charged in purse snatchings in Elmont, Valley Stream

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Two purse-snatchings that took place in Valley Stream and Elmont Wednesday afternoon were committed by the same group of three people, who were all arrested soon after the robberies, Nassau police said.

Charged were a Franklin Square teen, Jason Diaz, 16, of 31 Farnum Blvd.; and two Elmont residents, Olivier Hamilton, 23, of 110 Litchfield Ave., and Melissa Ferrara, 18, of 1424 Hancock St., police said. Diaz is charged as an adult.

In both purse-snatchings the three suspects were in a silver 1999 Infiniti when Diaz leaped out, grabbed the pocketbooks then got back into the Infiniti and the three drove off, police said.

In the first robbery a 57-year-old woman was walking down Hill Avenue in Elmont at around 2:30 p.m. when Diaz, after a brief struggle, pulled the purse from her, police said. Then at around 3:10 p.m. while driving down Ocean Avenue in Valley Stream they targeted another woman, 55, and Diaz struggled with the woman and knocked her to the ground, then took her purse, police said.

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No one was injured in either case, police said.

Witnesses at both crime scenes helped the police identify the car, enabling detectives to make the arrests. The suspects are scheduled for arraignment Thursday in First District Court, Hempstead.

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