Crimes Nearby: Murder Sentence, Scheme to Defraud

Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Andrew Coen.

The following information is taken directly from the Nassau County Police Department's incident reports. 

  • Sometime between 3 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Jan. 20, an unknown suspect stole a GPS, credit cards, cash and other miscellaneous items from the complainant's unlocked vehicle, which was parked in a driveway on Navy Place in Bellmore.
  • Sometime between 4 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, an unlocked vehicle on Army Place in Bellmore was broken into, and a GPS and gym bag were stolen.
  • On Jan. 19, between 12:20 p.m. and 2:20 p.m., a complainant that parked his car at Newbridge Park in Bellmore discovered damage to the driver's side of his vehicle.
  • On Jan. 18, between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., a vehicle that was parked on Shore Road in Bellmore was damaged by an unknown suspect with eggs.
East Meadow
  • On Jan. 14, a bike was removed from a bike rack at Woodland Middle School.
  • A driver was arrested in East Meadow on Jan. 20 after Nassau County police said they had to take evasive action to avoid being hit by him.
  • An East Meadow man was arrested on Jan. 21 for allegedly blinding a man in an assault in October.
  • Ramiek Smalls, 24, of Freeport, was sentenced to 47 years to life in prison for shooting a rival gang member to death in the parking lot of a Hempstead bar. At approximately 12:35 a.m. on May 31, 2011, Smalls was at the Rumba Sky nightclub to confront rival gang member Lawrence Hartman, 28, of Freeport. A fight broke out in the bar’s parking lot shortly before Hartman was set to perform at the bar. Smalls shot Hartman in the abdomen and left thigh and Hartman died from his wounds. 
  • On Jan. 13, a window was broken on a car on Loring Road in Levittown.
  • On Jan. 17, a rear view mirror was damaged on a car on Mallard Road.
  • On Jan. 18, a TNR performance part was stolen from a car on Laurel Lane.
  • On Jan. 20, a car was keyed at Town & Country Motors in Levittown.
  • On Jan. 15, 15 toner cartridges and a printer were stolen from Staples on Hempstead Turnpike.
  • On Jan. 21, 9 cases of similac formula was stolen from BJ's on Hempstead Turnpike.
  • Sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 19, a statue of Mary was removed from a front yard on Van Nostrand Avenue in North Merrick.
  • Sometime between 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 7 a.m. on Jan. 20, two vehicles that were parked on Powell Avenue in Merrick were spray painted with a line along the driver's side.
  • At 6 p.m. on Jan. 19, a woman that lives on Wynsum Avenue in Merrick  complained to police that someone had stolen her wallet out of her purse.
  • First Squad detectives are investigating a scheme to defraud in Roosevelt from Oct. 10-18, 2012. Darin Poole, 50, of Roosevelt, was engaged in a conversation with a female victim and told her he was employed by Time Warner Cable and would be able to get her a job. He advised her that she would have to give him $120, which would cover the cost of application and fingerprinting fees. Six additional victims either met with the defendant or wired him money after being promised jobs. After not hearing from the defendant, a victim contacted Time Warner Cable and was advised that the defendant did not work there. On Jan. 26, First Squad detectives arrested Poole in Manhattan.  He charged with first-degree scheme to defraud.
  • On Jan. 27 at 6:11 a.m., 911 received a call for Shot Spotter detection near 57 William Street. Police observed Wenael Jean-Baptiste, 31, of Hempstead, fleeing the area on foot as he threw a black and grey handgun on to the ground.  After a short foot pursuit, Jean-Baptiste was arrested. A .380 automatic handgun was recovered. He's charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Michael Benitez, 23, of Roosevelt, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder and was sentenced to 25 years in jail. At approximately 3 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2011, two Hempstead Police Department officers were pursuing Benitez to question him about a robbery. A third officer spotted Benitez in a parking lot running west on Cooper Street towards Washington Avenue. Benitez fired multiple shots at the officer, striking him in the left arm and back. Despite being shot, the officer was able to return fire, hitting Benitez in the groin, thigh and arm. When Benitez refused to drop his gun after falling to the ground, the officer shot the gun out of his hand. Officers responding to the scene placed Benitez under arrest. 
  • License plates were stolen off of a vehicle parked on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh sometime between Jan. 16-19. 
  • Surveillance cameras that were mounted on the outside of three businesses on Merrick Road in Wantagh were removed on Jan. 18. The affected businesses included CRC Computer CenterJetmore and Enterprise Car Rental.
  • An iPad was removed from a vehicle parked on Manchester Road in Wantagh sometime between Jan. 20-21. No damage to the vehicle was reported.
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