LOOKOUT’S LOCKED UP
He Helped Thieves In A Dozen Break-Ins
Still behind bars as of press time, an Elmhurst man was arraigned last Wednesday, May 30, for allegedly participating in a dozen burglary attempts in Maspeth, Middle Village, Woodside, Bellerose and Glen Oaks over the last two months, law enforcement sources reported.
Jefferson Villarama, 21, of Grand Avenue was cuffed by 108th Precinct officers on Memorial Day last Monday, May 28, after his alleged accomplice failed in his 13th attempt to break into a home on 63rd Street near Tyler Avenue in Woodside, police stated. The unidentified perpetrator reportedly remains at large after being chased away from the location by a resident.
Police found assorted items allegedly stolen during the series of 12 burglaries dating back to April hidden in the trunk and center console of the car where Villarama was allegedly observed sleeping near the location of the failed Woodside bur- glary attempt last Monday.
According to information provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office, the suspect allegedly admitted to acting as a lookout in the string of 13 break-in attempts between Apr. 29 and May 28, many of which took place during early morning hours.
In some cases, police stated, the victims were inside sleeping while the burglaries occurred in their homes. At other times, the criminal complaint noted, the break-ins happened while the residents were away.
Villarama allegedly told detectives that he and his accomplice staked out the neighborhoods before committing the crimes, as noted in the criminal complaint. Moreover, some of the items taken during the burglary pattern were reportedly sold to area pawn shops.
Members of the 104th, 105th and 108th Precinct Detective Squads conducted the investigation.
Inside the pattern
Law enforcement sources said the first break-in occurred in Woodside between 10 p.m. Apr. 29 and 6:50 a.m. the following morning at a residence on 61st Street near Tyler Avenue.
Reportedly, the female victim woke up to find that a window to her residence had been broken. During her inspection, authorities said, the victim determined that several items in her home were missing, including a bicycle, a camera, two pairs of sunglasses and her purse, which contained her identification and debit cards.
Police said the second burglary transpired at around 4:20 a.m. on the morning of May 9 at a home on 52nd Road near 73rd Street in Maspeth.
Reportedly, the male victim was asleep when he woke up to find three unidentified males in his bedroom holding flashlights. The crooks fled from the location when the man tried to confront them, police stated.
Numerous items including a wallet, a cell phone and sets of keys were stolen from the home, detectives determined.
The next caper in the series of burglaries reportedly occurred between 1:30 and 6 a.m. on the morning of May 10 at a home on 77th Place between Furmanville Avenue and Juniper Valley Road in Middle Village.
According to police, the male victim woke up to discover that a sliding door in the rear of the residence had been opened overnight. Following an inspection, the man determined that his wife’s purse—which contained a credit card, a MetroCard, a watch and a cell phone—were missing from the location.
Law enforcement sources said the fourth burglary took place in Maspeth sometime between noon on May 11 and 2 p.m. on May 14 at a house on 70th Street between 60th and Eliot avenues.
According to the criminal complaint, the female victim had left her home on May 11 and returned three days later to discover that the residence had been ransacked. Various jewelry items and a coin collection were reported as missing.
Police said the burglars returned to Middle Village on May 14, breaking into a home on 75th Place near Juniper Boulevard North between 12:01 and 5 a.m. and a location on 77th Place between Eliot and Caldwell avenues between 4:35 and 4:40 a.m.
In the 75th Place break-in, authorities noted, a female victim woke up to find that a screen and window in her daughter’s bedroom was open. Apurse containing a pair of earrings, an Amazon Kindle digital reader, an iPod, a debit card and a wallet were stolen from the scene.
Regarding the 77th Place caper, the criminal complaint stated, a woman living at the location woke up after hearing her dog barking and the front gate to the residence slam shut.
When she went to investigate the matter, she reportedly found that the front window was open and its screen had been taken off and ripped. A bicycle which had been placed in the front yard previously was stolen, police said.
The bandits reportedly headed to eastern Queens and allegedly broke into a home on 230th Street between Stronghurst and Seward avenues in Bellerose sometime between 5:45 and 5:50 a.m. on May 17.
In that incident, authorities said, a male resident woke up and found that a screen window on the first floor was open and damaged. His wife’s purse—which included six credit cards, a driver’s license, house keys and an identification card—and the man’s brown work bag, which included an Apple laptop computer, were missing.
Two days later, police responded to a burglary of a home on Union Turnpike near Commonwealth Boulevard in Glen Oaks between 4 and 4:40 p.m. on May 19.
After being out of his home for a while, the criminal complaint noted, a man returned to find that the kitchen door had been opened and damaged. Upon inspecting the premises, police said, he found that the home had been ransacked.
During questioning following his May 28 arrest, law enforcement source said, Villarama allegedly stated that his accomplice entered the home but removed nothing.
Later on May 19, another burglary was reported just after 10:45 p.m. at a home on the same 230th Street block where the May 17 breakin occurred, prosecutors stated.
In that incident, authorities said, a couple returned home to find that their bedroom had been ransacked. Various jewelry boxes were reportedly emptied and various items were stolen, including a digital camera, two iPhones, two iPods and articles of clothing.
The burglary string moved back to Middle Village on May 22, when a man woke up to find two unidentified suspects in his home on 62nd Avenue near Caldwell Avenue between 4:15 and 4:40 a.m., it was reported
Police said that the perpetrators fled from the location after the man confronted them. It was determined that a cell phone, wallet and cash were removed from the location.
Later that afternoon, authorities said, police received a report of another burglary linked to the pattern at a home on Jay Street near 54th Avenue in Maspeth, which took place between 1:20 and 1:45 p.m.
According to the criminal complaint, the male resident was away from home and returned that afternoon after his home security company notified him that his alarm went off.
Upon arriving at his residence, it was reported, the victim found one of the basement windows had been removed, and that an HP tablet and assorted jewelry were missing.
Prior to Villarama’s arrest, law enforcement sources stated, another Maspeth home on 72nd Place between Grand and 53rd avenues was broken into between 1:45 and 1:50 a.m. last Monday morning.
Various items including credit cards, a driver’s license, a wallet and a cell phone were reported missing.
How he got caught
Law enforcement sources said the final burglary in the pattern reportedly took place between 1:10 and 1:20 p.m. last Monday, when a man—while inside his home on 63rd Street near Tyler Avenue in Woodside— spotted an unidentified suspect climbing a ladder placed against his residence.
Reportedly, the perpetrator used a blow torch to open a window. Police said the resident ran outside and confronted the suspect, who ran down the ladder and fled from the scene.
According to the criminal complaint, the male resident chased the unidentified suspect, who was observed opening the door to a red Kia sedan parked nearby where Villarama was sleeping. He allegedly threw the blow torch inside the car and fled from the location.
Members of the 108th Precinct were called to the scene and stopped Villarama a short time later. The officers reportedly found various articles of jewelry inside his pocket.
During a search of the Kia sedan, authorities noted, police found various items allegedly stolen during the string of burglaries in the trunk and center console of the vehicle. Eight bags containing cocaine were also reportedly found inside the trunk, hidden under a spare tire.
Villarama was charged by police with 12 counts of second-degree burglary, six counts of petit larceny, three counts of criminal possession of stolen property and single counts of second-degree attempted burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny, fourthdegree criminal mischief, possession of burglar’s tools and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
During his arraignment hearing in Queens Criminal Court last Wednesday, Judge John Zoll ordered Villarama held without bail; the suspect is scheduled to return to court on June 13.
The investigation is ongoing.
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