NORTH BELLMORE, New York–Michael Hammond of Massapequa Park was taken into custody Sunday after allegedly removing a pocketbook from the cart of an 86-year-old woman at a North Bellmore Stop and Shop.
The victim, Margaret Smith, was shopping for fruit at the Stop & Shop just after 1 p.m. when Hammond snatched her purse out of her shopping cart. Another customer, Maureen Pizzaruso, spotted Hammond and screamed for help.
As Hammond, 24, was making his way out of the store, an undercover federal officer took him down. Police were called, and he was taken into custody.
But Hammond’s arrest was not without a struggle. While being escorted to the first precinct, he broke away from police and ran eastbound down Merrick Road in handcuffs. Police re-captured him moments later.
Police report that Hammond stole a pocketbook from the shopping cart of a 67-year-old woman at another grocery store in North Massapequa earlier in the day.
Other investigations disclosed that Hammond had committed similar crimes on May 1 and May 2, both in Freeport.
Hammond was also arrested for allegedly having 10 bags of heroin in his car.
He is charged with four counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and second-degree escape. His arraignment is scheduled today at First District Court in Hempstead.
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