Three men stopped for rolling through a stop sign were caught with weapons in their vehicle in South Farmingdale Tuesday afternoon, police said.
The arrests come in the wake of a string of armed robberies in neighboring communities committed by three men but, so far, police have not said whether there is any connection between the weekend end robberies and Tuesday's arrests
About 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nassau County Police spotted 2007 Cadillac roll through the stop sign at the intersection of West Drive and John Street. The vehicle turned onto Charles Street, and Todd Rympalski, 25, of Bellmore, got out and walked away, police said.
He was stopped by police on foot and the car was stopped at Hart Street and Willard Avenue. As officers approached, they spotted a handgun and an open backpack in the rear of the vehicle, police said.
The driver, Edward Gianino, 25, of Farmingdale, was in possession of a knife. A passenger, Thomas Skuza, 27, of Amityville, was also removed from the vehicle and taken into custody.
A search of the vehicle yielded a fully loaded defaced 9-millimeter handgun, a fully loaded magazine with 17 rounds of ammunition and two switchblade knives.
Each of the men has been charged with four counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Rympalski was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and Gianino was charged with failing to stop at a stop sign. They were arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.
Early today, police said detectives have made no public connection between the three men arrested Tuesday and the four armed robberies that took place in under two hours in the area late
Friday night into Saturday morning.
In that crime spree, robbers displayed a handgun and struck twice in Hicksville, once in Plainview and once in Bethpage, between 11:25 p.m. and 1:20 a.m. No one was hurt but police believe the robberies are connected.
The descriptions of the suspects in the armed robberies do not match the photos of the men charged Tuesday. A police spokesman said detectives have not made public any possible link to the robbery spree.