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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

A trio of Queens residents remain behind bars for seven burglary attempts across western Queens neighborhoods dating back to January, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Carlos Castro-Diaz, 41, of Elmhurst, Michelle D. Valencia Jaramillo, 21, of Jackson Heights and Jorge E. Vela-Sanclemente, 52, were picked up on the afternoon of May 12 by the NYPD Burglary Larceny Apprehension Suppression Team (BLAST) and the 110th Precinct and 115th Precinct Detective Squads, law enforcement sources said.

Brown said the threesome were busted shortly after they broke into two homes on National Street and 111th Street, respectively, in Corona. Upon further investigation, police determined that Castro-Diaz and/or Jaramillo were involved in five other burglary attempts in Corona, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Woodside as early as Jan. 25 of this year.

Police later executed search warrants at Castro-Diaz’s home and the 2008 BMW 328i sedans in which they were observed seated and found items stolen from the Corona homes, including an Adidas satchel, a jar containing cash and loose U.S. and Thai currency that had been contained in a Coach wallet left in a nightstand.

Other items stolen during the burglary series were recovered, along with various tools typically used in burglaries including pry bars and screwdrivers.

The other burglaries connected to the pattern include the following:

  • the Jan. 25 break-in at a home on 52nd Avenue in Corona, in which two Louis Vuitton purses valued in excess of $1,000 were stolen;
  • the March 23 burglary of a home on 41st Drive in Woodside, in which a Bulova watch was among the items taken;
  • the April 7 break-in of a home on Juno Street in Forest Hills, in which $21,000 in cash, jewelry and sunglasses were stolen;
  • the April 15 burglary of a home on 87th Street in Jackson Heights, in which $10,000 in cash, assorted jewelry, credit cards and personal documents were taken; and
  • the May 5 attempted burglary of a home on 99th Street in Corona, in which Castro-Diaz and Jaramillo were observed by a resident banging on the front door and attempting to pry it open with an umbrella.

Castro-Diaz, Jaramillo and Vela-Sanclemente face various charges including second-degree burglary, third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree attempted burglary, possession of burglar’s tools, criminal mischief and petit larceny. Brown said that Castro-Diaz and Jaramillo were ordered held without bail, while Vela-Sanclemente’s bail was set at $100,000.

All three suspects are due back in court on June 9 and each of them face up to 15 years behind bars if convicted of the charges against them.

“While they have been caught and will be held accountable for their actions, residents should be mindful that, as we head into warmer weather, summer is a peak time for burglaries,” Brown said, “and residents should take adequate precautions to protect their homes and valuables by inspecting their residences to see if there is a need to improve home security.”


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