Police nab suspected Maspeth purse thief

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An man suspected of stealing a dozen purses from parked cars in Ridgewood, Maspeth and Fresh Meadows was taken into custody after he was allegedly spotted in two different stolen cars and led police on a pursuit over half of Queens earlier this month, the Queens district attorney said.

Anthony Macceca, 38, of Ridgewood, was arrested Nov. 12 on charges of grand larceny, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence and running a red light, the Queens district attorney’s office said. He was arraigned Nov. 15 and remanded without bail. His next court date is Dec. 3. If convicted, he faces at least seven years in prison, the DA’s office said.

Macceca was responsible for at least 12 incidents in the 104th and 107th precincts in the past month, police said. Macceca typically targeted women refueling their cars, Deputy Inspector Keith Green of the 104th Precinct said.

“He’d pull alongside in a stolen car, snatch the bag and drive off,” Green said. “He was a one−man crime spree.”

Macceca was paroled in May after serving two years in prison for grand larceny, state Corrections Department records show.

The defendant was finally caught Nov. 12 when police allegedly saw him piloting two stolen cars, the DA’s office said.

First, at 10:30 p.m., a detective from the 107th Precinct investigating Macceca spotted him driving a blue 1987 Chrysler at Devoe and Lorimer streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, court papers show. Macceca ran a red light and escaped after the officer turned on his lights, the DA’s office said.

Between half an hour and 45 minutes later, another officer in the 104th Precinct ran the plates of a 2002 Jeep Liberty stopped at 74th Street and 74th Avenue, the DA’s office said. When the plates came back registered to a different car, the officer and his partner got out of their car and approached the vehicle, the complaint said.

Macceca, who was lying in the back seat, jumped into the driver’s seat and drove the Jeep toward the officers, who had to dive out of the way to avoid being hit, the complaint said.

Macceca sped off, and the two officers gave chase in an unmarked police car, the complaint said. They arrested him at Sunrise Highway and Brookville Boulevard in Springfield Gardens after Macceca ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle, police said.

Police recovered three bags of cocaine and six crack pipes from the floor of the Jeep behind the driver’s seat, the complaint said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

Updated 6:40 pm, October 10, 2011
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