The members of the Best Buy Geek Squad are usually known for their mastery of computers, but on Sunday, they proved they can also help catch criminals.
Two Geek Squad employees from the Patchogue store, located in the Gateway Plaza on the Sunrise Highway service road, alerted police after they observed a "suspicious man" in the parking lot look into a Ford Explorer, open the door and remove an item around 3 p.m.
The Best Buy employees then watched the driver of a Dodge Stratus pick up the suspect, who put the stolen item into the trunk of the vehicle, police said.
The two alleged thieves drove away and parked elsewhere and began walking throughout the crowded parking lot, which had heavy car traffic and was filled with holiday shoppers, police said.
Based on a description provided by the employees, Fifth Precinct Police Officer Michael Ferrara located the man who broke into the Ford and identified him as 23-year-old Michael Diorio, of Medford.
Officers Lauren Ruggiero and David Kolesar located the driver of the Stratus, Justin Skura, 22, of Bellport, who was walking around the parking lot when he was located.
The stolen item, a GPS, was found in Skura’s Stratus which officer Bryan Lawrence located in the parking lot, police said.
Fifth Precinct Sgt. Alex Spencer said Skura and Diorio may have been targeting other cars in the parking lot when they were caught.
"It appears they were taking advantage of the holiday crowd," Spencer said, noting the packed parking lot.
Diorio was charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of a hypodermic needle. Skura was charged with fifth degree criminal possession of stolen property.
Both men are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip at a later date.