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Long IslandCrime

Homeless man convicted of robbery spree: ‘I am a person that failed’

Shane Cashmore at his sentencing Wednesday.

Shane Cashmore at his sentencing Wednesday. Credit: John Roca

A homeless heroin addict apologized for a series of knife-point robberies across Long Island last year just before he was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison.

“I am a person that failed,” Shane Cashmore told Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei in Riverhead.

The judge said he was impressed with how Cashmore was working to improve his life since his arrest.

“It sounds like you already have learned your lesson,” the judge said.

The sentence will run concurrently with a 12-year sentence imposed last month in Nassau County for other robberies, meaning Cashmore will not serve additional prison time for the Suffolk charges.

Cashmore, 32, who pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery in Suffolk County on Dec. 6, will be subject to court-ordered supervision for five years after his release from prison.

Attorney Christopher Gioe of Hauppauge said his client has taken part in counseling and other programs available to inmates at the jail to help him kick his heroin habit.

The programs, Gioe said, taught Cashmore skills such as how to avoid situations that would make him susceptible to a relapse.

“He’s been doing whatever he can to stay healthy and try to get past the addiction that he has,” Gioe said in an interview outside the courtroom.

Both the judge and Gioe had high hopes that Cashmore will use the years behind bars to turn his life around.

“I am hoping and praying that he does the right thing while in custody and gets himself the help that he needs,” Gioe said.

Cashmore, whose last known residence was in Ronkonkoma, went on a 10-week crime spree last year during which he robbed or attempted to rob 18 businesses in Nassau and Suffolk counties, including Carvel and Dunkin’ Donuts outlets, a GameStop store and a Subway restaurant, authorities said.

He entered the businesses with his face covered and demanded money while displaying a large knife or machete, police said last year.

When reporters asked Cashmore after he was arrested in May why he committed the holdups, he said, “I’m a heroin addict.”

Authorities also charged Paul Drab and Julianna Pantaleone, both of Levittown, and Daniel Young of Babylon in connection with some of the robberies Cashmore committed.

Drab, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery charges in both Suffolk and Nassau counties. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Suffolk court on May 21 and in Nassau court on May 31.

The judge in the Nassau case promised Drab a sentence of no more than 10 years in prison, Miriam Sholder, a spokesman for the Nassau district attorney’s office, said. She said prosecutors had recommended 15 years.

Pantaleone, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted robbery in Suffolk. A first-degree robbery charge in Nassau is pending.

Pantaleone is scheduled for sentencing in Suffolk court on May 21 and is expected to appear in Nassau court on May 15 for a conference.

Young, 29, faces two counts of first-degree robbery and one of first-degree attempted robbery in Nassau County.

With William Murphy

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