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Woman charged in Port Chester taped robbery

Police say she stole headphones from the man

Police say she stole headphones from the man passed out on the sidewalk.

A 34-year-old Manhattan woman has been charged with stealing headphones from a drunken man who was passed out and videotaped on a Port Chester street being robbed repeatedly by passersby last month.

Melissa Rodriguez was nabbed at about 4 a.m. on Sunday by Port Chester police at La Dolce Vitaa nightclub, a few doors from where Elijas Rojas was lying unconscious on a sidewalk from the late hours of May 20 into May 21, police said Monday.

Rodriguez was charged with a felony, fourth-degree grand larceny, for allegedly stealing headphones from Rojas, officials said. Rojas initially was identified as Sergio Palacios.

Rodriguez was arraigned Monday in Port Chester Village Court and released on $750 bail. Police are still looking for others who were caught on tape rifling through Rojas' pockets.

"One down, several more to go," Port Chester Lt. James Ladeairous said Monday.

The incident was caught on a surveillance camera installed outside Sean McNerney's home at 459 North Main St. He and his wife bought the home last year and have been plagued by repeated incidents of drunken revelers tossing beer bottles and urinating on the front lawn.

The video, which McNerney provided to police, shows the Port Chester victim lying on the sidewalk unconscious when a group of men approach from the direction of the club. Two men pass without giving the victim a glance, but a ponytailed man wearing a white shirt stops, looks left and right, then bends over and starts rifling through the unconscious man's clothing. He comes up with what looks like a wallet, flips through it and pockets it.

Rojas was robbed again by another group of people, and again after that. He's robbed so many times -- "five by my count," McNerney said -- that the latecomers find nothing left to steal.

Patrol cars drove by McNerney's house that night, but Rojas was not visible from the street as he lay on the sidewalk and no one reported the incident, police said.

Rodriguez, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted, could not be reached for comment.

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