FARMINGDALE - Authorities say three thieves stole thousands worth of bronze vases from a Suffolk cemetery in order to feed their heroin habits.
Nicholas Giambalvo, Max Schneider and Elizabeth Dono are accused of stealing bronze memorial vases from Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale. A total of 89 vases have been recovered – estimated to be worth about $53,000.
Police were alerted that the suspects’ vehicle was in the cemetery. The two men were caught following a short pursuit that started when an officer approached their vehicle at Pinelawn. The chase ended in Massapequa.
Giambalvo, Schneider and Dono are charged with grand larceny. Giambalvo and Schneider face additional charges related to their pursuit.
Giambalvo and Dono are also charged with burglary for allegedly stealing copper pipes from a North Babylon home in December to sell for scrap.
Each pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Pinelawn says it will replace unrecovered stolen vases to families of the deceased at no cost.