A parolee stole family heirlooms from a Patchogue home Friday morning but was caught after a neighbor spotted him leaving with a backpack, Suffolk police said.
Anthony Mendolia, 27, got into a Central Avenue home through a rear door and stole several thousand dollars in jewelry, many of them heirlooms, from the elderly homeowner, police said.
A neighbor checking on the homeowner's house spotted the burglar leaving the back yard about 11:50 a.m., police said. The neighbor followed Mendolia, who ran away, and when he called police, Fifth Precinct Officer Marc Sforza spotted the suspect a short distance away, police said.
When Mendolia saw the officer, he ran through several yards but was found nearby and arrested by Officers Jeremy Fanning, Edward Ryby and Charles Teufel shortly after noon, police said.
The homeowner identified the stolen items, police said.
Mendolia was also carrying rubber gloves, a pry bar and a hypodermic needle, police said.
Mendolia, of 25 Leibrock Ave., Lindenhurst, was being held overnight for Saturday's arraignment on second-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglar's tools and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.
Police also said there was a warrant for him because he violated parole.