Three members of a New York family were arrested in connection with a string of robberies police say could have been motivated by their common dependence on narcotics.
According to Newsday, 55-year-old Deborah Salvatore and her two children, Lauren Mascia, 31, and Rick Mascia, 25, were in police custody Sunday after their arraignment.
Police believe the mother and her adult kids are responsible for several robberies over the past month in which a subject displayed a knife and demanded cash from local businesses.
The final victim was an employee at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Coram, who police say was robbed by Rick Mascia Saturday night as Deborah Salvatore waited in a car outside. Mother and son were arrested at the scene.
Days earlier, surveillance footage of six previous robberies allegedly showed another female suspect present and active in each crime.
Police say that woman is Lauren Mascia, who was individual committing the robbery in each of the connected robberies except for Saturday’s.
“She would go around and purchase an item or purport to purchase an item, and when at the cashier she would brandish a pocket-size knife and demand cash,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini. “And her brother Rick served as the getaway driver in those robberies.”
She reportedly painted her face prior to committing the robberies in at least two of the robberies, Newsday reported.
Lauren Mascia was not at the scene of the most recent robbery, police said, but was arrested later.
“They committed robbeies together and now they’ll go to jail together,” Sini quipped, adding he was glad the trio was caught “before anyone got hurt.”
The siblings face six counts each of first-degree robbery out of a combined seven robberies connected to the family. Lauren Mascia was not charged with Saturday’s crime and her brother was not charged with another Dunkin’ Donuts robbery earlier this month in Patchogue.
Salvatore faces one count of first-degree robbery, charged only in connection with Saturday’s robbery.
According to News 12 Long Island, bail was set at $600,000 for Lauren Mascia, $300,000 for Rick Mascia and $10,000 for Salvatore.
Sini said all three family members apparently use crack-cocaine, noting drug abuse is often a motive for serial robbery.
[Featured image: Suffolk County Police Department]