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Levittown, Wantagh men arrested in CVS thefts, Nassau cops say

Frank Merlo, 29, left, and Gavriel Charalambous, 28,

Frank Merlo, 29, left, and Gavriel Charalambous, 28, were arrested on Sept. 22, 2016, and charged with grand larceny in connection with a yearlong theft spree that caused more than $3,000 in losses to more than a dozen CVS stores in Nassau County, police said. Credit: NCPD

An alert loss prevention officer and an ensuing investigation led to the arrest of two men in a yearlong theft spree that caused more than $3,000 in losses to more than a dozen CVS stores in Nassau County, police said.

Nassau County police said Thursday that Gavriel Charalambous, 28, of Laurel Road in Hempstead, and Frank Merlo, 29, of Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh, were each charged with one count of third-degree grand larceny. Both face arraignment Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Police said a loss prevention officer with prior knowledge of the numerous thefts spotted Charalambous entering a CVS in Massapequa on Wednesday. The officer notified Nassau police, who arrested Charalambous at a CVS on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow at about 1:15 p.m. The subsequent investigation then led police to Merlo, who was arrested at his home Thursday at 1:55 a.m.

Though detectives believe the pair have hit 14 stores since spree began last Sept. 29, police said, Charalambous and Merlo were charged with one count each because all the thefts involved CVS — allowing the thefts to be combined in one charge.

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