By Chris Fuchs
After an investigation that spanned nearly nine months, the police arrested Nick Nicholas, 68, of 60-12 136th St. in Flushing, and charged him with burglarizing the homes of elderly Queens residents, including one in Flushing and one in Bayside, the authorities said. Nicholas is also suspected of committing at least six other incidents similar to the ones with which he has been charged, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Nicholas did not enter a plea at his arraignment last Thursday, said Betsy Herzog, a spokeswoman for the DA. Nicholas was charged with three counts of burglary, criminal impersonation and petit larceny, and one count of robbery, Brown said. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison in two of the cases, and up to 25 years on the third, Brown said.
In the three cases in which he has been charged, Nicholas would allegedly misrepresent his identify, sometimes posing as a heat inspector and other times as a Con Edison employee, to gain entry to his victims' homes, Brown said. Once inside, Nicholas would allegedly steal money or personal belongings from his victims, the district attorney said.
The first incident in which Nicholas was charged happened on Oct. 30, though police officials said Nicholas is suspected of targeting his first victims in early 2000. In the Oct. 30 case, Brown said, Nicholas told a 91-year-old woman that he was a “heat inspector.” Once inside, he allegedly took the woman's checkbook as well as some personal property, Brown said.
In the next incident, which occurred on Dec. 12, Nicholas knocked on the door of an 82-year-old Bayside woman's home, Brown said, and told her that he was a Con Edison employee and that he was there to give her a cash refund. But the woman became suspicious of Nicholas after she let him in, Brown said. The woman put her wallet away, Brown said, but Nicholas allegedly shoved her against the wall and took it.
The last incident in which Nicholas has been charged occurred Dec. 26 around 9:50 a.m. in the home of an 82-year-old Flushing resident. This time, Brown said, Nicholas allegedly told the resident that he was a “medical aide” and after entering the home, stole $250 in cash.
The police would not release the names and addresses of the victims because of the nature of the crimes.
“Crimes against the elderly – whether they involve physical or financial harm – are deplorable and are to be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” Brown said in a statement.
Nicholas' attorney, Stanley Hochberg, of Brooklyn, could not be reached for comment as of Tuesday night.