Drug addiction may have been the motivation behind a five-month long robbery spree that ended with the multi-agency arrest of Khalif House on June 8, according to authorities.
House, 24, is suspected of being responsible for more than two-dozen knife-point robberies committed at convenience stores and fast food restaurants throughout Queens and Long Island over the last three months. Law enforcement took House into custody in the parking lot of 8 South Tyson Ave. in Floral Park after he allegedly attempted to rob a College Point Dollar Tree and a Dunkin’ Donuts in Little Neck.
House allegedly stole from six Dunkin Donuts locations, two 7-Elevens, one Subway and two Carvels in locations including Westbury, New Hyde Park, Plainview, Old Bethpage, East Meadow, North Merrick, Oceanside, Massapequa Park, North Valley Stream and Hewlett.
House, whose last known address is in Hempstead, led police on a foot chase after coming up empty-handed at both a Dollar Tree and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Moments after fleeing the dollar store, the suspect jumped into a gray Honda Accord which police say was being driven by Lizette Veltri, 24, of Valley Stream, who possibly may have served as a getaway driver in the other robberies as well. It was only about 20 minutes later when law enforcement found House lurking outside a Dunkin’ Donuts, scoping out the activity inside, waiting for the perfect time to strike.
The suspect hopped a fence and began leading police on a chase through neighborhoods and backyards where he ultimately lost authorities. As law enforcement continued their search, they came across the gray Honda Accord the suspect was seen in earlier that day. Veltri, still behind the wheel, ducked down when she was spotted by police. After giving contradicting statements regarding the suspect and herself, she was taken into custody.
That was when officials received a 911 call from local homeowners claiming that the wanted man was sleeping on their couch. A few hours later, cops were tipped off that the 24-year-old was seen running near South Tyson Avenue in Floral Park. Moments later, officers arrested House.
Both House and Veltri were arraigned and charged with Hobbs Act robbery-interference with commerce by threats or violence. House was remanded to the Nassau County Correctional Facility and Veltri was released on bond.