Crime Watch

Cops: Man fled after Bellmore shoplifting arrest


After a Massapequa Park man was arrested and charged with grabbing the pocketbook of an elderly shopper at a North Bellmore grocery store, he broke free from law enforcement officials before he was detained last weekend, police said.

Michael Hammond, 24, was arrested just before 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, at a North Bellmore Stop & Shop. Police allege that this was the fourth time Hammond took the pocketbooks of local shoppers.

First Precinct police officers found Hammond detained by store employees when they arrived at the Stop & Shop, at 2450 Jerusalem Ave. Officials said he had removed a pocketbook from the shopping cart of an 86-year-old woman. Hammond was arrested and transported to the 1st Precinct in Baldwin.

When officers were walking Hammond toward the stationhouse, he broke away from police and ran eastbound on Merrick Road in Baldwin, while still handcuffed. Officials said he was apprehended quickly, but that he continued to resist arrest and struggled with officers as he was returned to the precinct.

After his arrest, investigators determined that Hammond allegedly committed three other larcenies similar to the one in North Bellmore. Police reported that Hammond also took a 67-year-old woman’s pocketbook earlier in the day while she shopped at a Waldbaums, at 702 Hicksville Road in North Massapequa. And they said they believe he took the purses of two other victims in Freeport on May 1 and 2: a 59-year-old shopping in Waldbaums and an 87-year-old in Stop & Shop, respectively.

Hammond will also face drug charges. Police said they recovered 10 decs of heroin from his vehicle.

Chris Munzing, a Nassau County District Attorney’s Office spokesman, said Hammond was charged with four counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and second-degree resisting arrest and escape. He said Hammond was arraigned on Monday, May 6, in First District Court in Hempstead, with his bail set at $90,000 bond or $45,000 cash.

Hammond was due back in court on May 8, Munzing said. He is represented by an attorney from the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which does not comment on cases as a matter of policy.