A Manhattan man will soon be sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to two separate Queens home invasions, involving three women, one as old as 97, according to the district attorney’s office.
“One’s home is their castle and should be a place of refuge and safety, not a crime scene,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “In robbing his victims inside their homes, the defendant stole more than just money and personal property, he stole his victims’ security.”
Salvador Morales, 59, pleaded guilty on Monday, to first- and second-degree burglary before Queens Supreme Court Justice Elise Koenderman, prosecutors said. The judge indicated she would sentence Morales to 11 years in prison on Jan. 23.
Morales, in pleading guilty admitted to the two home invasions, where he targeted three women, ages 72, 73 and 97.
On April 5, he followed the two younger victims from a HSBC bank branch on Kissena Boulevard to their Flushing apartment, according to the district attorney. Morales, who was wearing a yellow construction helmet, white surgical mask and white surgical tape on several fingers, entered their apartment and pushed them to the floor. He then fled with the 72-year-old woman’s handbag, which contained more than $1,000 that had just been withdrawn from the bank. The other woman was taken to the hospital with a fractured leg.
Morales targeted his third victim on April 19 by also following the 97-year-old woman into her building, Brown said. Wearing a surgical mask, Morales entered her Sunnyside apartment by pretending he been sent by the landlord to check for leaks. Once inside, he got her to take out a large envelope full of cash by asking if she had change for a $100 bill, and then convinced her to take off her rings while checking the faucet. While she wasn’t looking, he fled the apartment with the rings and the envelope, which contained $700 in cash.
Surveillance video helped in identifying Morales as the surgical mask-wearing thief, according to the district attorney’s office. The footage captured him at the sites of both home invasions and at his residence wearing the clothing described by the victims.
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