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Long IslandCrime

Serial pocketbook thief arrested in Valley Stream, Nassau police say

After a nighttime purse snatcher struck for the fifth time in Valley Stream on Monday, a teen was arrested and charged with robbery and grand and petit larceny, Nassau police said.

The teen, a 17-year-old from Freeport who is a minor and thus his identity was not released, approached a 61-year-old woman in a West Merrick Road parking lot, demanded her belongings, and then "forcibly removed" her pocketbook from her hands at around 8:50 p.m. on Monday, police said, adding they made an arrest 11 minutes later.

No injuries were reported, police said, adding some of the woman’s belongings were recovered.

A 60-year-old woman, who was targeted in the thefts on Aug. 23, suffered lacerations and bruises, police said, as the teen hit her from behind and pushed her to the ground before he yanked her pocketbook from her hands and fled. That theft occurred at West Merrick Road and Ormonde Boulevard, police said.

Other women had their purses grabbed on Aug. 8, Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, and all thefts occurred during the evening by West Merrick Road. One woman was 64 years old, one was 20, and one 47, police said.

The teen's arraignment is set for Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if he was represented by counsel.

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