A drug addict believed to be responsible for a spate of 18 knife-point robberies on Long Island over the past three months was arrested immediately after robbing another store in Huntington Station on Monday night, police said.
Shane Cashmore, 30, who is homeless but has connections to Lake Ronkonkoma, will be arraigned in both Nassau and Suffolk counties on 18 counts of first-degree robbery, officials said. While being escorted out of the 2nd Precinct in Huntington Tuesday morning, Cashmore told reporters that he suffered from heroin addiction.
“We have no doubt that Mr. Cashmore is responsible for these 18 robberies and we are glad to bring this spree to an end,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini during a joint press conference with acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.
Two other suspects were also arrested Monday night—Juliana Panteleone, 31, and Paul Drab, 26, both of Levittown—but authorities did not elaborate on their roles in the robberies. They were charged only for the Monday night robbery in Huntington Station in which they were described as getaway drivers.
At the time of their arrest, Panteleone was preparing to inject herself with heroin, authorities said. Sini noted that there was evidence that suspects were suffering from substance abuse and “likely committing robberies to fuel their addiction.” The investigation is continuing.
Cashmore is accused of robbing 18 businesses across the Island from Feb. 13 through May 1. Stores he allegedly hit included Carvel, Subway, Baskin Robin, TCBY, Dunkin’ Donuts, and The Barn, among others, police said.
“Over these several months and weeks, small business owners and workers at these small businesses have been on edge, but today they can rest a little more peacefully,” said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
The big break in the case came in mid-April when investigators learned that Cashmore had been driving a rare Hyundai model called the Tiburon, which was only in production between 1999 and 2008.
Police began looking into each of the 200 Tiburon’s registered in New York City and Long Island and were briefing individual officer’s when one came forward with information about an arrest he made in March that fit the description of the car, a 2006 version, in which Drab was driving. Drab was charged with possession of a controlled substance for that incident.
The car, which was registered by Panteleone, was placed under around-the-clock surveillance, and authorities followed the car’s every movement: when the suspects took cans to scrap, to New York City, and to Panteleone’s place of work.
Investigators followed that car Monday night to Oyster Bay, but the suspects became spooked by officers in the vicinity and instead drove to Huntington Station. After Cashmore allegedly committed his 18th robbery, he was immediately placed under arrest, police said.
Krumpter said they were unable to prevent Sunday’s robbery in Lake Ronkonkoma because the car wasn’t used.
Sini and Krumpter said their respective department’s willingness to work in tandem created an environment that contributed to Monday night’s arrests.
The collaborative efforts of Nassau’s Robbery Squad and Suffolk’s Pattern Crime Unit is a “model” of how such investigations should work.
In the first two cases attributed to the suspect, he allegedly robbed a Carvel in South Farmingdale 20 minutes after trying to rob a Dunkin’ Donuts five miles away in Seaford, police have said.