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Crimes Nearby: Home Invasion Attack, Gang Leader's Plea, Elder Selling Guns and More

A weekly round-up of the top crime stories reported in neighboring communities.

Bloods Gang Leader Pleads Guilty in 2011 OMC Drug Bust

A Bloods gang leader arrested in a June 2011 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raid of an Old Mill Court based crack-cocaine ring in Rockville Centre pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine Thursday in federal court in Central Islip, according to reports.

Latee Smith was one of 14 people arrested on June 1 in a group that authorities said "dominated the narcotics trade in Rockville Centre's Old Mill Court apartment complex."

According to the United States Attorney's Office, four of the defendants, including Smith, are members of the United Blood Nation (Bloods) — a violent street gang.

Click here for the full story.

Elderly Man Caught Illegally Selling Guns in Flea Market

Nassau County Police charged an elderly Queens man on Nov. 10 with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in Valley Stream.

According to detectives, police were advised by witnesses that Charles Czupia, 88, of Richmond Hill, was selling guns in the flea market located in the rear parking lot of 750 West Sunrise Highway without a license.

Upon arrival, police observed Czupia opening a box on the front passenger seat of his vehicle containing a semi-automatic P38, a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, and an Arminus .32 caliber revolver along with a cardboard price list.  The defendant was placed under arrest.

Czupia is being charged with first-degree and third-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and third-degree Attempted Sale of a Firearm. He was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Nov. 11.

Police: Home Invasion Defendant Attacked Garden City Woman

Artie Jackson, the 46-year-old Hempstead man who was arrested for multiple burglaries in both Garden City and Hempstead in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, allegedly attacked one of his victims.

According to multiple reports, Jackson attacked a woman in her East Garden City home Sunday night before being arrested in Hempstead.

Newsday [paid link] reported that Jackson entered the home around 10 p.m. and attacked the woman in a "second-floor bedroom then forced her downstairs and stole items before fleeing in her car."

A witness called 911 after seeing the car leaving the area, and police, who had saturated the community with as many as 50 patrol cars in Garden City and Hempstead, spotted Jackson. He crashed the vehicle in Hempstead and was captured.

The arrest came from what Garden City Village described as a "task force" between Garden City Police and Nassau County Police, along with other neighboring law enforcement agencies.

Jackson was originally wanted in connection with the occupied home invasion on Third Street Nov. 8. The alleged crime spree is not the first problem Jackson has had with the law.

Hempstead Teens Arrested for String of Robberies

A 17-year-old Hempstead man and a 14-year-old juvenile were charged with multiple robberies that occurred in late October and early November.

According to detectives, on Oct. 21 at 2:17 p.m., a 41-year-old female victim was walking with her 3-year-old son on Jerusalem Avenue in Hempstead when she was allegedly approached by Romain Robinson, 17 of Hempstead, and the juvenile. Robinson asked the victim to use her cell phone and when she refused, he allegedly ripped a gold chain from around her neck and attempted to grab her pocketbook but was unsuccessful. The suspects then fled the scene. No injuries were reported.

On Oct. 24 at 9 p.m., a 22-year-old female victim was walking on Botsford Street in the vicinity of Nassau Parkway in Hempstead when she was approached by the pair on bicycles, according to cops. They allegedly demanded the victim’s pocketbook while the juvenile displayed a black handgun. The victim refused to surrender her property and the suspects fled the scene on their bicycles without any proceeds. No injuries were reported.

Then, shortly after noon on Nov. 8, Robinson and the juvenile allegedly approached a 14-year-old female and a 10-year-old male on Homan Boulevard in Hempstead. They demanded money from the victims but when Robinson grabbed the female victim by the shoulder, two witnesses intervened, according to police. The suspects eventually fled the scene without any proceeds and no injuries were reported.

Around 1 p.m. that day, the suspects allegedly approached a 24-year-old female victim on Willow Avenue. The juvenile grabbed the victim’s pocketbook and attempted to pull a scarf off the victim’s neck but was unsuccessful, according to police. The pair then fled the scene. The victim suffered pain to her neck and chest but did not require medical attention.

Hempstead police officers responded to the scene and located the suspects a short time later at Milburn Avenue and Lawson Street, where they were taken into custody.

Robinson and the juvenile were both charged with five counts of robbery. Robinson was arraigned on Nov. 9 at First District Court in Hempstead while the juvenile will appear at Family Court on the same date.

Detectives request anyone that feels they may have been a victim of the above defendants to call the Third Squad at (516) 573-6352.

Cops Injured Arresting Burglar in Valley Stream

Two police officers were injured last Monday while arresting a Brooklyn man for allegedly burglarizing a Valley Stream business.

According to detectives, Michael Dollison, 44, of Brooklyn, entered the RPG Consultants firm located at 181 South Franklin Avenue on Nov. 12 at 9:52 p.m., activated an alarm and was observed on surveillance video.

Police were called and Dollison was arrested by responding officers. One officer sustained a sprained left ankle and another a lower back sprain while attempting to restrain Dollison. Both officers were transported to a local area hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Dollison is being charged with third degree, two counts of second-degree Assault and Resisting Arrest. He was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Tuesday, Nov. 13

Detectives Investigating Bank Robbery in Franklin Square

Nassau County detectives are investigating a robbery that occurred on Nov. 9 at the Capital One Bank branch in Franklin Square.

According to detectives, two suspects, one a white male and the other a black male, both in their 40’s, entered the Capital One Bank located at 550 Franklin Ave. around 5:30 p.m., armed with two handguns.

Detectives say the pair verbally demanded money from several tellers. After obtaining an undetermined amount of cash, the suspects fled out the rear door into the parking lot and were last seen heading northbound into the creek bed behind the Friendly’s store.

Suspect #1 is further described a being 5’ 7” tall with a thin build, wearing a blond wig, dark baseball cap and orange sunglasses. Subject #2 appeared to be 6’2” tall, stocky build, wearing a blue jacket with white sleeves.

At the time of the robbery there were five employees present, none of whom were injured.

Detectives request anyone with information regarding this robbery to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.

Pedestrian Killed Crossing Franklin Avenue During Power Outages

A 59-year-old Hempstead woman was killed on Nov. 8 in Valley Stream when she was struck by a car while attempting to cross Linden Street at Franklin Avenue, where traffic signals were not working due to Superstorm Sandy.

The accident occurred at 5:25 pm, according to detectives, who say the victim was struck by a northbound 2007 Nissan Altima that was being operated by a 37-year-old Valley Stream man. The victim was removed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced deceased by a staff physician.

At the time of the collision, due to power outages in the area, the traffic light, as well as numerous street lights at that intersection, were not functioning.

The accident involved no criminality, safety checks on the vehicle were performed at the scene and the car was released to the driver.

For more local crime, click on the following links:  Garden City, Rockville CentreFive Towns and Long Beach

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