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Cops: Serial Shrimp Thieves in Hot Water

The shrimp haul was valued at over $2400, police said.

Sticky-fingered shrimp lovers were netted by Suffolk County law enforcement officers last week, according to police

According to Suffolk County police, four Calverton residents were arrested and charged with stealing frozen shrimp from supermarkets since December.

Police said during a petit larceny investigation, seventh precinct crime section officers discovered a pattern involving the theft of frozen shrimp valued at more than $2400, which occurred at supermarkets located in the fifth and seventh Precincts.

Officers identified and pulled over the suspect’s vehicle with proceeds inside and arrested four people in the car on Jan. 30, police said.

Seventh precinct crime section officers, with the assistance of fifth precinct crime section officers, charged Joseph Elardo, 34, Sharmane Cromer, 34, James Donnellan, 33, and Nicole Johnson, 22, all of the same address on Southfield Road in Calverton, with 22 counts of petit larceny, two counts of attempted larceny, two counts of possession of a hypodermic needle and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

 Upon further investigation, police said it was discovered that the suspects were allegedly selling the frozen shrimp to a local Chinese restaurant to support their alleged drug habits.

A search warrant was executed on Jan. 31 at Tai Yu Chinese Restaurant, located in Mastic Beach, and owner, Xue Chai Li, 34, of Mastic Beach was arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree.

Members of the Suffolk County Department of Health assisted with the search warrant and cited the establishment with a sanitary code violation for an unapproved source of authorized food.

Elardo, Cromer, Donnellan and Johnson were arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip. Li will appear at First District Court in Central Islip on a later date.

Dennis February 05, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Wait - so the Suffolk County Department of Health made a surprise visit to this Chinese food place and ONLY FOUND THAT ONE VIOLATION OF HAVING STOLEN SHRIMP???? Where is this place located again?? I'm going there for all my Chinese food needs!

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