A Staten Island man pleaded guilty to smashing holes into six Queens grocery stores and bodegas throughout the borough to steal cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets, prosecutors announced this week.
Hector Rodriguez, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree burglary, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. Between October 2015 and September 2016, Rodriguez broke into six different businesses in Queens Village, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona and Jamaica by either cutting a hole in the roof or tearing a hole in a back wall.
According to the charges, the defendant was seen on video surveillance in each of the break-ins wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sneakers carrying a crowbar and a flashlight. In all but one break-in, Rodriguez entered and took cash, and in some instances, lottery tickets or cartons of cigarettes.
In the string of burglaries, the defendant stole approximately $40,000 in cash.
Rodriguez will be sentenced on April 11. He faces five to 10 years in prison.
“The defendant has now admitted his guilt,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. “He brazenly burglarized various businesses in Queens – literally breaking into the buildings by creating holes in rooftops and/or in walls to gain entry. The commercial locations – grocery stores and bodegas in various neighborhoods throughout Queens County – had cash and merchandise taken by this defendant. He will be punished for his crimes with a lengthy term behind bars.”