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CT Couple Charged With Burglarizing USS Ling After It Was Flooded

Jon P. Stevens and Laura Palmese Photo Credit: COURTESY: Hackensack PD
Example of a medical corps lieutenant shoulder lapel. Photo Credit:

Hackensack police charged a Connecticut couple with stealing a lantern and shoulder lapel from the USS Ling submarine on the Hackensack River a short time after someone looted and flooded the landmark museum, authorities said.

Jon P. Stevens of West Haven and Laura Palmese of Colchester, both 48, parked in the lot of the Heritage Diner and "swam through the Hackensack River to the submarine" on Aug. 11, Capt. Peter Busciglio said.

Damage had already been done to the submarine when the couple "removed a lantern and a Medical Corps lieutenant shoulder lapel," he said.

City police charged Stevens and Palmese with burglary on Wednesday, Buscilgio said, adding that additional counts were possible. Both were assigned Oct. 1 first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

City detectives identified the couple from surveillance video (still images above), he said.

"There are two or three of these groups," the captain said. "They go to abandoned warehouses, old psych wards and take things."

Authorities who arrested Stevens found items stolen from other locations while executing a search warrant at his home, he said.

Busciglio thanked the West Haven and Colchester police departments for their assistance. An investigation was continuing, he said.

Meanwhile, investigators were closing in on the burglars who stole four memorial plaques for Navy seamen killed in World War II and then flooded the museum.


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