Woman charged in 7 pocketbook thefts

Jennifer O'Leary, 25, of Stony Brook, was arrested

Jennifer O'Leary, 25, of Stony Brook, was arrested and charged with stealing women's pocketbooks from shopping carts at several Suffolk supermarkets, police said. (June 14, 2012) (Credit: SCPD)

A Stony Brook woman was arrested Thursday and charged with stealing women's pocketbooks from shopping carts at several Suffolk supermarkets, police said.

Jennifer O'Leary, 25, of Shelbourne Lane, is accused of stealing 7 pocketbooks at 6 different supermarkets in Stony Brook, Setauket, Centereach and Port Jefferson Station, between April 24 and June 14.

O'Leary was arrested at Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace, Route 112, Port Jefferson Station, police said, after she stole a pocketbook from a 77-year-old woman about 2:15 p.m.

During the thefts, police said, O'Leary picked targets, followed them through the supermarket, and waited for them to turn away before she would steal the pocketbook from the shopping cart baskets.

O'Leary was charged with seven counts of grand larceny, two counts of forgery, and one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument. She was to be arraigned in First District Court, Friday.

If a person decides to put a purse in a cart while shopping, they should not turn their back on it, Suffolk police said. They should also fasten the pocketbook to the cart, possibly using the cart's child straps, said police.

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