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

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: (L-R) U.S. President 1 Donald Trump sworn in as 45th president of the United States
Julia Fenster, co-president of the Nassau County Chapter 2 LI residents prepare for women's marches in Washington, NYC
News 12 Long Island reporter Eileen Lehpamer was 3 LI residents among thousands present for Trump inauguration
President Donald Trump underlined patriotism during his inaugural 4 Trump promises to be voice for 'forgotten men and women'
Gone from the site are any mentions of 5 For White House, new tenants mean new website

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