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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Ronkonkoma man stole pocketbooks from vehicles at gas stations

Suffolk police released a surveillance video of a man stealing a pocketbook on Saturday at a BP gas station in Nesconset. A Ronkonkoma man was charged Tuesday with this and seven other similar thefts at Suffolk County gas stations, police said. (Credit: SCPD)

A Ronkonkoma man was arrested and charged Tuesday morning for stealing pocketbooks from unlocked vehicles at service stations as the drivers pumped gas, Suffolk police said.

Over a three-week span, Craig Mastandrea, 47, stole items from eight vehicles at gas stations in Farmingville, Miller Place, Nesconset and Ronkonkoma, police said.

Surveillance footage released by police recorded an alleged theft on Saturday at a BP gas station on 294 Smithtown Blvd. in Nesconset.

The footage showed a man park a silver pickup truck in front of a gas pump. He then walked around the pump to the other side where a woman was standing outside a black Honda SUV. Ducking his head as he approached the side of the Honda, the man opened the passenger door, grabbed a purse, hid it under his black hoodie and walked back to the pickup truck.

The theft took 30 seconds, police said.

The eight victims were women, and seven of the eight stolen pocketbooks contained credit cards, a police spokesman said Tuesday night.

Mastandrea has been charged with seven counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, a felony. Other charges against Mastandrea included criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny, police said.

Mastandrea is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Wednesday.

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