Crime Watch

'Gym Bandit' pleads guilty


Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that Sean Gluck, a serial purse-snatcher with two prior theft convictions, has pleaded guilty to burglary and grand larceny charges after going on his third crime spree in as many years. Gluck will receive three to six years in prison in exchange for his plea.

Gluck, 36, of Valley Stream, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary in the third degree, seven counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree and petit larceny. He was indicted by a grand jury in September 2009 and is due back in court for sentencing on Feb. 23.

Rice said Gluck committed five thefts on three different dates in March and April of 2009. On March 15, Gluck entered Beach Bum Tanning in North Merrick and stole the front desk employee’s purse, containing gift cards and money when she left the area, according to Rice. Gluck struck again on March 21 when he entered Beach Bum Tanning in Plainview and stole the desk employee’s pocketbook, which contained $300 in cash. Gluck’s final three thefts all came on April 15. In Mineola, Gluck stole an employee’s duffel bag from Massaro’s Pizzeria and an employee’s pocketbook from the hostess stand at St. James Restaurant. Later that day, he stole an employee’s pocketbook from Starbucks in Plainview.

Gluck was arrested on April 24 last year by officers of the Nassau County Police Department’s 8th Detective Squad.

In January 2007, Gluck earned the nickname "The Gym Bandit" when he was charged with a series of thefts in which he stole car keys from various gyms and fitness centers and then stole pocketbooks and other items from the customers’ vehicles. Gluck served eight months in jail on the theft charges. Fewer than two months after being released from jail in September 2007, Gluck struck again, this time stealing wallets and pocketbooks from gyms in Woodbury, Glen Cove, Merrick and Baldwin, as well as a Hewlett bagel store. Gluck charged more than $7,000 on the owners’ stolen credit cards. He eventually served five months in jail. He was also placed on probation for three years.

"This defendant stole from innocent victims and wreaked havoc on their finances," Rice said. "Hopefully Mr. Gluck will use his time in prison to think of a more honest way to make a living. My office was fully prepared to take this case to trial before the defendant pleaded guilty."

Handling the case for the DA’s Office was Assistant District Attorney Justin Heiferman of the D.A.’s Economic Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County.