Three people were arrested Thursday after police said they stole bronze vases from Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale on several occasions.
First Precinct officers responded to a 911 call of a theft in progress at Pinelawn Cemetery, located at 2030 Wellwood Avenue, around 12:15 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Officers located two male suspects who were still at the cemetery in a white 2010 Volkswagen Beetle which had also been driven in a prior theft at the graveyard, police said.
When the officer attempted to initiate a stop, the driver of the Volkswagen evaded police by driving through a locked metal gate. After a brief pursuit, the suspects were apprehended at the intersection of North Pine Drive and North Linden Street in Massapequa, police said.
Further investigation by First Squad detectives revealed that the driver of the vehicle Nicholas Giambalvo, 27, his passenger, Max Schneider, 24, and the owner of the Volkswagen, Elizabeth Dono, 27, were responsible for the thefts of numerous vases from Pinelawn with a combined value of approximately $53,000, police said.
The thefts occurred on Oct. 1 and 16, 2013, and Feb. 5, 6, 2014, police said.
Giambalvo and Dono were also charged with a burglary that occurred in December in which they entered a vacant home on Kime Avenue in North Babylon and stole copper piping, police said.
Giambalvo, of Dix Hills, is charged with four counts of Grand Larceny 3rd Degree, Burglary 3rd Degree, Unlawfully Fleeing an Officer, Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree, Reckless Driving and Resisting Arrest.
Schneider, of Dix Hills, was charged with two counts of Grand Larceny 3rd Degree and Resisting Arrest.
Dono, of North Babylon, was charged with Grand Larceny and Burglary 3rd Degree.
All three are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Friday.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the vase thefts or have any additional information to call the First Squad at 631-854-8152 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.