Tag Archives: home invasion

Manhattan man faces 11 years in prison for robbing three elderly Queens women


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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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 He then fled with the 72-year-old woman’s handbag, which contained more than $1,000 that had just been withdrawn from the bank.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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Teen charged in deadly Jamaica home invasion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in a botched Jamaica home invasion that left one man dead and another injured, police said.

Prakash Churaman has been charged with murder, attempted murder and burglary in the fatal Dec. 5 shooting, cops said.

Churaman entered the 144th Street home of 21-year-old Taquane Clark, an alleged acquaintance, with at least one other person with the intent to rob the place at about 6 p.m., according to police. But something apparently went wrong when Clark was shot in the head and a 27-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the torso and right leg.

Clark was pronounced dead at the scene and the other victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Charges are pending against a second person who was hospitalized after being injured in the home invasion, cops said. Police are still investigating whether others were involved.

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Police looking for suspect in Woodhaven home invasion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A robber broke into a Woodhaven house, threatened the homeowner with a wrench, then tried to use his stolen debit card, cops said.

The suspect forced his way into the 90th Avenue home through the basement door about 8:30 a.m. on Monday, according to police. He showed a wrench that he was holding to the 69-year-old man and took $20 in cash, a debit card and a cellphone from him.

He then attempted to withdraw money from the victim’s account three separate times, but failed, cops said.

Police have released video footage of the suspect, taken at one of the ATMs, and describe him as about 40 years old and 5 feet 10 inches tall.

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Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Cops arrest man in Bayside home invasion of elderly couple


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Police have arrested a man for a Bayside home invasion that left an elderly couple seriously injured.

Christopher Ramirez, 24, has been charged with robbery, burglary and assault in connection to the April 23 break-in, cops said.

During the robbery two men, claiming to be maintenance workers, forced their way into the 15th Avenue home around 2:30 p.m., according to police.

Once inside, they assaulted the couple, an 85-year-old woman and 86-year-old man, leaving the wife with bruising to her face and body and the husband with head injuries, officials said.

Both victims were taken to New York Hospital Queens in stable condition.

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Elderly Bayside couple injured in home invasion


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

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An elderly Bayside couple was seriously injured after two men invaded their home on Wednesday, cops said.

The perpetrators broke into the 15th Avenue home after claiming to be repairmen, according to police, who were called to the scene at about 2:30 p.m.

The suspects allegedly attacked the couple, leaving bruises on the woman’s head, before taking items from the home. Both husband and wife, who are 86 and 85 years old respectively, were taken to New York Hospital Queens in stable condition, officials said.

It is unclear on what was taken  from the house at this point, cops said.

Police are still searching for the suspects, which are described as two Hispanic men.

 

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Suspects sought in Howard Beach home invasion


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

Three men are being sought in connection with an early-morning home invasion in Howard Beach.

According to a police source, on Wednesday, at 8:45 a.m., the homeowner—and owner of Bam’s Auto Body—was awakened by a white male suspect standing in the hall. He, along with two other alleged perps, tied up the victim and took jewelry, along with a few thousand dollars in cash.

No injuries were reported.

Police are looking for the three men—two white and one Hispanic—in their late 20s or early 30s, last seen wearing masks and gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Kew Gardens man arrested after allegedly blaming girlfriend’s shooting on home invasion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The boyfriend of a Kew Gardens woman who was shot in their apartment Sunday morning has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly claiming she was injured during a home invasion.

Steven Diaz, 30, is accused of shooting his girlfriend, Amanda Rivera, 22, once in the head, sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., inside their 127th Street home, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. Diaz then allegedly ditched the weapon by throwing it in a sewer.

Afterwards, Diaz drove his wounded girlfriend to Jamaica Hospital where he initially told officials that they were the victims of a home invasion by three masked robbers, one of whom allegedly shot her in the head, Brown said.

Rivera is in critical condition and suffered severe damage to her brain, according to the district attorney.

Diaz is currently awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of marijuana, prosecutors said.

Police allegedly found more than 10 pounds of pot inside of Diaz’s apartment at the time of his arrest, according to Brown.

If convicted, Diaz faces up to 25 years in prison.

 

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Kew Gardens woman shot in head during alleged home invasion: reports


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A Kew Gardens woman is in critical condition after being shot in the head at home during an alleged armed robbery Sunday, according to published reports.

The 22-year-old woman was shot Feb. 9 about 9 a.m., and taken to Jamaica Hospital, reports said.

The woman’s live-in boyfriend said three armed robbers, demanding money, attacked in an apparent home invasion, according to the New York Post and New York Daily News.

 

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Cops who arrested pair in car thefts honored


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Erica Camhi

Two officers were honored at the most recent 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting in Richmond Hill.

Captain Martin Briffa announced officers Kevin Warmhold and Kenneth Vencak as Cops of the Month during the Precinct Council’s monthly meeting on January 17.

Briffa — executive officer of the 102nd Precinct — said the pair was feted for arresting two individuals who attempted to make off with a stolen van.

On January 3, at around 11 p.m., Briffa said the two officers saw a male and female acting suspiciously on Atlantic Avenue. According to Briffa, the suspects removed a license plate from a Ford van, switched it with another plate and drove off in the stolen van.

Upon pursuit, Warmhold and Vencak were able to nab the criminals after a few blocks.

The male perp was later found to have 13 prior arrests — all for stealing cars — while the arrested female had three. The license plate in their possession, according to police, was also from another vehicle the pair stole.

According to Community Council President Maria Thomson, arrests like these have led to the success of the precinct and safety of the community. In fact, the 102nd Precinct was chosen as the 22nd safest precinct in the city, she said.

“We really are doing very well here,” she said, “I know — and you know — that our police officers, our captain, our lieutenants and our sergeants are working very, very hard.”

But because of their success, the 102nd Precinct did not get any new police officers from the latest graduating academy class — which was one concern raised by a resident.

“Because of the fact that we’re doing so well with statistics, we are being penalized,” Thomson said. “That is not fair.”

Thomson urged residents and local elected officials to write a letter to the police commissioner or mayor asking for more officers for the precinct.

Another resident raised concerns about three burglaries that allegedly took place on 127th Street during Christmas week, but Briffa assured there were “no pattern robberies right now.” However, Briffa encouraged homeowners to check their front door locks because most burglaries, he said, occur because front doors are not locked properly.

The majority of complaints stemmed from incensed residents living on Park Lane South, who say a nearby house has been drawing in a slew of unwanted activity after the building was foreclosed on by the bank in 2009.

According to residents, “squatters” have been living there, congregating, screaming and causing trouble inside. Residents also allege that there is drug and alcohol abuse inside the house, and one neighbor said he often smells marijuana coming from the home when he opens his window.

Although the captain said he can’t do anything about the squatters, he said if there is illegal drug use, he can try and get them locked up.

Meanwhile, he said neighboring residents should call the precinct to come out and investigate if they notice illegal activity.

Additional reporting by Erica Camhi