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Photo via Shutterstock/Inset courtesy of NYPD
Photo via Shutterstock/Inset courtesy of NYPD
The inset shows the suspect behind a major burglary pattern in Ridgewood.

The 104th Precinct took a truly high-tech approach in cracking a major burglary pattern across Ridgewood.

Captain John Mastronardi, the precinct’s commander, spoke about the case during the May 16 104th Precinct Community Council meeting in Middle Village, during which he honored two of the investigating officers as Cops of the Month.

Beginning last November and continuing into the first few months of 2017, Mastronardi recalled, Ridgewood had been getting hammered with burglaries. Detectives were able to link 31 of the break-ins together as part of a burglary pattern, and had obtained a security camera image of a possible suspect.

As QNS previously reported, the perpetrator climbed up the fire escapes and entered each apartment through a window. He would then ransack each residence and steal varying amounts of property, including cash, jewelry and even security boxes containing valuable items.

According to Mastronardi, police caught a break when the received an anonymous tip of a possible suspect, who was identified as Paul Rodriguez, 38, of Brooklyn. Police Officers Michael Cappellano and Jack Dagnese of the 104th Precinct ran Rodriguez’s name through the NYPD database, and subsequently learned that he was involved in a fatal auto accident in the Bronx.

“They had enough information to garner a search warrant from the court, [and] police were able to get a GPS search warrant on the perpetrator’s vehicle,” Mastronardi said.

Police were able to place a locator on Rodriguez’s vehicle and tracked him to Sunnyside on April 5, where they observed him allegedly committing a burglary. He was arrested later that day in Bushwick as he allegedly attempted to steal purportedly stolen items at a pawn shop.

“We were able to put everything into place, creating one giant burglary case against one individual, who we have currently in jail,” Mastronardi said.

Rodriguez remains locked up without bail on three separate criminal complaints charging him with burglary, attempted burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglar’s tools, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief and petit larceny.

For their efforts, Mastronardi and 104th Precinct Council President Len Santoro presented Cappellano with a plaque donated by the Times Newsweekly, a sister publication of QNS. Cappellano also accepted a second plaque on behalf of Dagnese, who was recently transferred to a precinct on Staten Island.

P.O. Michael Cappellano with his family, Captain John Mastronardi at the May 16 104th Precinct Community Council meeting. Also show at left are Abraham Markowitz and Len Santoro of the 104th Precinct Community Council. (photo: Robert Pozarycki/QNS)

Even with one major property crime pattern now solved, Mastronardi noted that the precinct is battling a spike in vehicle break-ins over the last few weeks. He reminded drivers to properly safeguard their vehicles and never leave any valuable property inside them unattended.

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FlipoutNYC May 19, 2017 / 03:08PM
At least publish his picture so everyone can see who he really is
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