An Islip man who went on a two-month crime spree was charged Wednesday with stealing from the tills at 13 businesses across the county, Suffolk County police said.
The same approach used by Donald Gennarelli, 25, at all the stores led to his downfall, when crime analysts at police headquarters noticed a pattern of reports coming in from four precincts, said Det. Sgt. James Brierton of the major-case unit, which worked with the Third Precinct in a joint investigation.
Whether it was a Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonald’s, Gennarelli would make a small purchase, then pounce when the clerk opened the cash register to give him change, Brierton said.
“He would reach over . . . and grab the money,” the detective sergeant said.
One East Islip Dunkin’ Donuts shop was hit twice, police said.
Between June 16 and Aug. 2, Gennarelli targeted stores across several towns and would run off with up to about $200 each time, police said. He likely had a getaway vehicle nearby, police said, because police dogs that were brought in after the heists lost the trails after a while.
Investigators honed in on Gennarelli after Third Precinct crime section officers Joseph Passantino and Matthew Fernandez viewed surveillance videos and recalled the suspect resembled someone they had encountered in traffic stops, police said. The two officers arrested Gennarelli while he was driving in Islip.
Gennarelli is expected to be arraigned Thursday on 14 counts of petty larceny, which covers thefts under $1,000, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle because his license was suspended.
Police said Gennarelli may have stolen from more businesses and that anyone with information could call the major-crime unit at 631-852-6555 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477.
Gennarelli was charged with larcenies at the following businesses:
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 411 Furrows Rd., Holbrook on June 16.
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 19 Bay Shore Rd., Bay Shore on June 18.
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 280 Sunrise Hwy., North Lindenhurst on July 1.
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 155 Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst on July 4.
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 529 E. Main St., Bay Shore on July 5.
- CVS, 15 W. Main St., East Islip on July 6.
- 7-Eleven, 500 Islip Ave., Islip, on July 9.
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 13 W. Main St., East Islip, on July 11.
- McDonald’s, 4498 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale on July 12.
- Dunkin’ Donuts, 13 W. Main St., East Islip on July 18.
- 7-Eleven, 4506 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale on July 25.
- CVS, 1944 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park on July 27.
- Subway, 1105 Horseblock Rd., Medford on Aug. 1.
- McDonald’s, 340 Rte. 25A, Miller Place on Aug. 2.