DEER PARK, N.Y. (PIX11)—Suffolk County Police have bagged a couple in connection with a half-a-dozen burglaries that resulted in a combat veteran being robbed of his Purple Heart.
The suspects have been identified as Ryan O'Malley, 33, and Nicole Oliva, 29.
While cops were questioning O'Malley and Oliva, they found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun on Oliva, and were able to link both of them to the burglaries.
During one of the burglaries, police say the suspects helped themselves to the Purple Heart belonging to Thomas Barden of West Babylon. The military awarded him the medal after he was shot in the head on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, during Operation Overload, the beginning of the end of the war.
Barden got his medal back.
Oliva and O'Malley were each charged with six counts of Burglary 2nd Degree, Possession of Burglar's Tools and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree. Oliva was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree.
They're to be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.