Two Queens men loaded up shopping carts at Home Depot stores in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens on four occasions since Aug. 17 — walking out the door without paying the bill, prosecutors said.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said the men stole more than $14,000 worth of building materials. One man walked out of the stores with the goods while the other distracted employees, Brown said.
Armando Diaz, 43, of College Point, and Kevin Marmolejo, 21, of Maspeth, were arraigned Wednesday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Bruna DiBiase on a complaint charging them with third-degree burglary, third-degree and fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fifth-degree conspiracy.
Diaz was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail and faces up to 7 years in prison.
Marmolejo, who also was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, was ordered held on $50,000 bail and faces 15 years in prison. Authorities said Marmolejo was in possession of $460 in counterfeit $20 bills at the time of his arrest.
Authorities said there are still “unapprehended” suspects in the case but did not say if additional arrests are pending.
The thefts took place at Home Depot stores in Jericho, Deer Park, Flushing and East Elmhurst, authorities said. They were arrested after being stopped by the NYPD at 130th Street and 23rd Avenue in Queens on Tuesday.
Earlier that morning, Brown said, the men had stolen goods from the Home Depots in Jericho and Deer Park.
Brown said that on Aug. 17, Diaz and “an unapprehended individual” were seen on video surveillance entering the Home Depot store in Flushing about 7 a.m. About 40 minutes later, Brown said, Diaz and the unidentified man bypassed cashiers and walked out of the store with a shopping cart filled with 5-gallon drums of paint, sheets of Plexiglas, bi-fold doors and other items worth almost $4,000.
On Oct. 26, Brown said, Diaz and “a different unapprehended individual” entered the Home Depot in East Elmhurst and walked out about 40 minutes later with an assortment of goods worth about $4,500.
The spree leading to the arrests Tuesday involved Diaz and Marmolejo, Brown said, and began about 6 a.m. with the theft of goods — including epoxy, Tyvek house wrap, primer sealer, vinyl flooring, garbage bags and other merchandise worth more than $3,500 — from the store in Jericho.
From there, Brown said, the pair drove to the Home Depot in Deer Park, where they stole recessed lighting, a ceiling medallion, a Moen faucet and other goods worth about $2,500 before fleeing the store.
“This kind of thievery will not be tolerated,” Brown said in a statement.