LINDENHURST, N.Y. (PIX11) – Two Long Island women were arrested for allegedly stealing a rental car in Virginia, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.
One of the women was also accused of child neglect after she secretly took her son out of the state, police said.
Lindenhurst resident Joy Portelli, 54, is accused of taking her son to Orlando, Florida from MacArthur Airport on Aug. 26. She was later arrested in Virginia for brandishing a firearm on Sept. 19, according to authorities.
Portelli was with her son and her friend, 54-year-old Jodi Ann Harrigan, also from Lindenhurst, at the time of her arrest in Virginia.
Harrigan allegedly told police that she would give Portelli’s son to his uncle. The uncle was also the person who rented the car that Portelli was driving at the time of her arrest, according to authorities.
Portelli was released on $1,500 bail later that day, police said. The car wasn’t reported stolen until after Portelli’s first arrest, according to authorities.
Portelli’s husband appeared in Suffolk County Family Court, where he was given custody of the couple’s two children, including the child that was taken across state lines. The court issued an arrest warrant for Portelli on child neglect charges, according to authorities.
Portelli was also being sought after by Suffolk County police for the stolen rental car. She surrendered to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday after being featured in a “Fugitive Friday” social media post, officials said.
Harrigan was arrested after investigators canvassed the First District Court parking lot for the stolen car.
Portelli and Harrigan were both charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property.
Portelli’s son was released to the custody of her husband.
Erin Pflaumer is a digital content producer from Long Island who has covered both local and national news since 2018. She joined PIX11 in 2023. See more of her work here.