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Suffolk men accused in string of armed robberies

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Two men were arrested Sunday evening and have been charged in connection with a string of armed robberies in Suffolk County after an off-duty police officer caught them when they tried to rob a dessert store, Suffolk County police said Feb. 4.

Thomas Leahey, 28, of Ronkonkoma, and Joseph Salvia, 25, of Commack, were each charged with three counts of first-degree robbery and three counts of attempted robbery. They were awaiting arraignment Tuesday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Police said the two men were caught Sunday after they allegedly tried to rob Cool Monkey Desserts on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook. In a news release, authorities said an off-duty Nassau County police officer was entering the store around 8:15 p.m., when employees told him the duo had just tried to rob them.

The unidentified officer, cops said, followed the suspects and “aided responding Suffolk County police officers in the apprehension of the men.”

Detectives said they later identified the men as being responsible for several local robberies and attempted robberies. They have been charged in connection with: The Feb. 1 robbery of a Tropical Smoothie Café at 532 Larkfield Road in Elwood; a Jan. 29 robbery at a Subway sandwich shop at 530 Route 111 in Hauppauge; the Jan. 28 robbery of Beach Bum Tanning at 6168 Jericho Turnpike in Commack; the attempted robbery of a Quiznos sandwich shop at 4611 Sunrise Highway in Bohemia on Feb. 2; a Feb. 1 attempted robbery at a Dunkin’ Donuts at 560 Nesconset Highway in Smithtown; and Sunday’s attempted robbery of the Cool Monkey Desserts store.

Records show the men were in custody Tuesday afternoon at the Suffolk County Jail. Details from their arraignments, including updated bail information, was not immediately available.

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