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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Gym bandit takes new theft approach

A Valley Stream man formerly known as the Long Island gym bandit has a new larceny technique - sneaking into restaurants and tanning salons and stealing workers' handbags, police said.

In April and May, Sean Gluck, 35, stole handbags and wallets from workers at two Beach Bum Tanning salons in Plainview and North Merrick and from four restaurants in Mineola and Hicksville, police said.

Gluck faces a Tuesday hearing at Nassau Criminal Court after his arrest Friday on two counts of burglary, three of grand larceny and one of petit larceny, records show.

He appeared Saturday at First District Court, Hempstead, before Judge Anna Anzalone who ordered him held on $70,000 bond or $35,000 cash. He remained in custody Monday, court records show.

On March 15 and March 21 at Beach Bum Tanning salons in North Merrick and Plainview, Gluck went behind the service counter when the attendants walked away and took wallets containing cash and credit cards, police said. A store camera caught the crimes on video, police said.

And on April 15 and 22 Gluck stole a duffel bag and several pocketbooks from employees at Massaros and St. James restaurants in Mineola, and from a Starbucks and a Ruby Tuesdays in Hicksville, police said. At the St. James restaurant a witness saw him enter his car and wrote down the license plate number, police said.

Court records show Gluck has numerous convictions for harassment, larceny, identity theft and burglary.

At the time of his Friday arrest he had been on three years' probation after he pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge. In a separate proceeding Gluck also faces a criminal contempt charge.

In previous arrests, Gluck in January 2007 was charged with stealing car keys from a string of Nassau County gyms, then using remote access devices to open the cars and steal wallets, purses and credit cards.

In December 2007 he was arrested again on numerous larceny and forgery charges after police said he stole car keys, then took credit cards from victims' purses or vehicles.

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