A West Babylon World War II veteran’s Purple Heart stolen last week has been recovered with the arrest of a couple police say are responsible for six break-ins in the First Precinct over the past two weeks.
Ryan O’Malley, 33, and Nicole Oliva, 29, who were living at the Deer Park Motor Inn, were arrested this weekend and are charged with six counts of burglary second degree, possession of burglar tools and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Oliva is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a 9mm semiautomatic handgun.
Police said the couple committed six burglaries, including one on November 4 during which they stole a Purple Heart medal from Thomas Barden, a West Babylon World War II veteran. Barden received the medal after he was shot in the head during the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
The arrests came after First Precinct Officers Brian Kopke and John Burns noticed a gray 2000 Dodge Durango in the parking lot of the Deer Park Motor Inn that matched the description of a vehicle used during one of the burglaries.
Oliva and O’Malley were scheduled to be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.