East Farmingdale, NY- Police are reminding residents to be aware of their surroundings and to keep an eye on valuables after a homeless man and a West Babylon woman were arrested for allegedly stealing pocketbooks from several area grocery stores. According to officials, Tarisha Smith, 25, of West Babylon, was operating a 2015 VW Jetta at the Lidl supermarket on Sunrise Highway in Oakdale on Thursday morning when she noticed a woman had left her pocketbook in a shopping cart while loading her vehicle. Smith’s front seat passenger, Robert Hengeveld, 50, grabbed the pocketbook and the pair drove off, committing a similar crime at the ShopRite in Patchogue on Sunrise Highway in Patchogue.
Police say a short time later, they observed a vehicle matching the description of Smith’s, Jetta on Route 112 in Patchogue and initiated a traffic stop. The pair pulled over, gave officers their identification and then fled the scene northbound on Route 112 at a high rate of speed, eventually crashing at Peconic Avenue in Medford. Smith and Hengeveld exited the Jetta on foot and made a run for it – before being captured by police a short time later.
Further investigation by Fifth and Sixth Squad detectives revealed Smith and Hengeveld were responsible for larcenies at the following locations.
- Giunta’s Meat Farms of Bohemia, located at 4585 Sunrise Highway, Bohemia on July 25 at approximately 2:20 p.m.
- ShopRite of Lake Ronkonkoma, located at 601 Portion Road, Lake Ronkonkoma on July 26 at approximately 11 a.m.
- ShopRite of Lake Ronkonkoma, located at 601 Portion Road, Lake Ronkonkoma on July 26 at approximately 12:45 p.m.
- ShopRite of Lake Ronkonkoma, located at 601 Portion Road, Lake Ronkonkoma on July 26 at approximately 5:35 p.m.
- ALDI supermarket, located at 367 Sunrise Hwy, Patchogue on July 27 at approximately 5:55 p.m.
- Stop & Shop, located at 5701 Sunrise Hwy, Holbrook on July 27, at approximately 6 p.m.
- Lidl supermarket, located at 450 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale on July 28 at approximately 10:15 a.m.
- ShopRite of Patchogue, located at 95 Sunrise Highway, Patchogue on July 28 at approximately 10:35 a.m.