Dozing off in a stolen car proved to be an unwise decision for an Ozone Park man busted last week.
Law enforcement sources said that a member of the 112th Precinct observed Salvatore Stazzone, 41, of 102nd Street napping behind the wheel of an idling 1994 Toyota Corolla at the corner of 65th Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park at about 11:56 p.m. on April 4.
While checking the vehicle’s license plates, authorities said, cops determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen on the afternoon of April 3 in Richmond Hill.
According to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, Stazzone allegedly swiped the car, which had been parked in front of a residence on 89th Avenue. The vehicle’s owner caught Stazzone in the act and gave chase; at one point, the owner jumped onto the hood of the car as the suspect drove away, but fell off after a short distance.
When police questioned him on the night of April 4, prosecutors said, Stazzone allegedly failed to produce a valid license. He was subsequently taken into custody on charges of criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Further investigation linked Stazzone to a March 30 grand larceny at the TJ Maxx department store located at 80-16 Cooper Ave., within The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale.
Prosecutors said Stazzone was caught on store security cameras between 12:35 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. on March 30 removing more than $1,100 in clothing from the racks and placing them in a plastic bag. He was seen leaving through a rear exit without paying for the items.
Stazzone was additionally charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny.
Court records indicated that he remains locked up on a combined $20,000 bail and must return to court on April 20.