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Cops: Hempstead man arrested in thefts from vending machines

Cesar Cruz, 56, of Hempstead, was arrested on

Cesar Cruz, 56, of Hempstead, was arrested on Thursday night, July 9, 2015, and charged with e burglary, grand larceny, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and petty larceny, police said. Credit: NCPD

A Hempstead man who allegedly broke into 32 vending machines at 20 different locations throughout Nassau County was arrested Thursday night, police said.

Cesar Cruz, 56, stole more than $3,000 from vending machines during his 48-day burglary spree, which began in late May, according to Nassau police.

He was caught about 11:15 p.m. Thursday after he burglarized a vending machine in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, setting off an alarm that alerted cops, authorities said.

Police arrested Cruz as he rode his bicycle on Oak Street in Uniondale, and found him to be in possession of cash and coins from a damaged vending machine in the park.

Cruz, who has 16 prior arrests dating back to 1984, told cops he committed the burglaries to fund his crack addiction, police said.

He is charged with six counts of third-degree burglary, grand larceny, nine counts of third-degree criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and petty larceny.

At an arraignment Friday at First District Court in Hempstead, Cruz was ordered held on $30,000 cash bail.

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