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Cops: Man charged in supermarket pocketbook thefts

A Massapequa Park man arrested inside a supermarket in North Bellmore Sunday after stealing a pocketbook from an 86-year-old woman was later charged in three similar incidents, police said.

Michael A. Hammond, 24, of 258 Atlantic Ave., was charged with four counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree resisting arrest, police said.

He is scheduled for arraignment Monday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Nassau County police said Hammond was arrested at 2:44 p.m. Sunday after being detained by employees inside the Stop & Shop store on Jerusalem Avenue in North Bellmore -- employees who, police said, stopped Hammond because he had removed a pocketbook from the shopping cart of the 86-year-old woman.

Police said that as Hammond was being led, handcuffed, into the First Precinct in Baldwin, he broke free from officers and ran eastbound on Merrick Road, but was "quickly apprehended." Police said Hammond "continued to resist arrest" and "struggled with officers" as he was returned to the precinct.

An investigation determined that earlier on Sunday Hammond stole a pocketbook from a 67-year-old woman as she shopped at a Waldbaum's on Hicksville Road in North Massapequa and that he also had committed similar thefts at a Waldbaum's in Freeport on May 1 and at a Stop & Shop in Freeport on May 2, police said.

Police said they also recovered 10 decks -- or, bags -- of heroin from a car belonging to Hammond after his arrest.

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