Police: Serial burglars stole Purple Heart medal

Police say drugs may have fueled a burglary spree that led to a veteran's Purple Heart being ripped off. Ryan O'Malley, 33, and Nicole Oliva,

DEER PARK - Police say drugs may have fueled a burglary spree that led to a veteran's Purple Heart being ripped off.

Ryan O'Malley, 33, and Nicole Oliva, 29, are accused of at least six break-ins during the past two weeks in West Babylon, North Babylon and Deer Park.

Police say they stole the Purple Heart medal from World War II veteran Thomas Barden. Barden was given the medal for an injury, an award his family says he cherished. But last week, while the 87-year-old man was staying in an assisted-living facility, his West Babylon home was burglarized and the robbers grabbed his medal.

Investigators say O'Malley and Oliva had crack cocaine in their possession when they were arrested Saturday at the Deer Park Motor Inn.

They're facing drug and burglary charges.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Police have charged a Bronx man with murder 1 3rd man charged in Hempstead bar stabbing
A 33-year-old driver ran up a curb and 2 Driver critical after LIE service road crash in Roslyn Heights
3 On the Spot: Presidents Day
A draft of President Donald Trump's revised immigration 4 AP source: Revised travel ban targets same countries
Nearly a dozen people reportedly made their way 5 11 JFK travelers reportedly go through security unchecked

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE