HUNTINGTON STATION, New York — Three machete-wielding thieves have been arrested for a string of ice cream parlor robberies they allegedly perpetrated to feed their heroin addictions, authorities said.
Police finally were able to track the trio down following a three-month spree in which 18 shops were robbed across two counties on Long Island, to fuel their drug habits.
“They were using the proceeds of the robberies to fuel their heroin addiction,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said at a joint press conference with Nassau County officials.
One of the three thieves, Juliana Pantaleone, 31, of Levittown, was caught shooting up inside their getaway vehicle when cops arrested her and the others after they had robbed a Carvel ice cream shop in Huntington Station on Monday.
The alleged ringleader, Shane Cashmore, 30, and Paul Drab, 26, both of Levittown, were also arrested.
“I’m sorry,” Cashmore said as he was led from the station house on Tuesday. “I am a heroin addict.”
Cops caught up to the trio after identifying the unusual model car they used as a getaway vehicle, a 2006 Hyundai Tiburon. Only 200 such cars are registered in the region near where the robberies took place.
“There was some video of the car, and through old-fashioned police work, we were able to find a car (matching) the one on the video,” Sini said.