Alleged vending machine bandit busted in Nassau

A suspected serial vending machine burglar was arrested last night after allegedly striking a driving range in Eisenhower Park.



Detectives tell News 12 Long Island that the suspect, Cesar Cruz, of Hempstead, is a career criminal with 16 arrests dating back to 1984. Police say Cruz, 56, broke into 32 machines at 20 Nassau locations over the last month.



Nassau police received an alarm at 11:18 p.m. Thursday that the latest vending machine was being tampered with, and the information was immediately broadcast to officers in the area. Cruz was located riding a bicycle on Oak Street in Uniondale and was stopped.



Cruz was arraigned today on a slew of charges, including burglary. Police say he had just wrapped up probation last summer. 



In all, $3,000 was stolen from the vending machines. Inspector Kenneth Lack says Cruz told detectives he was fueling a crack cocaine addiction.


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