By Jeremy Walsh
A Queens couple brought their two young children along with them while allegedly breaking into homes in Maspeth and Woodside, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.
Hugo Lantigua, 22, of Corona, and Erika Santana, 23, of Flushing, were arrested along with Brooklyn resident Pedro Camillo, 19, on April 21 on suspicion of burglarizing two homes, the DA said.
All three were charged with burglary, criminal weapons possession, possessing stolen property, possessing burglar’s tools, resisting arrest, child endangerment and unlawful possession of radio devices, Brown said. They were arraigned April 22 and scheduled to return to court May 5, the DA said. If convicted, they face up to 25 years in prison, the DA said.
“Burglary is a serious crime in and of itself,” Brown said in a statement. “It is unthinkable that a mother and father would put their children in harm’s way while allegedly committing these crimes. It is even more unimaginable that they would allegedly do so with a loaded handgun in their vehicle.”
Both incidents occurred April 20. Shortly after noon, a Maspeth man left his 63rd Street home, Brown said. When he returned home, he spotted a blue van parked in front with a blonde woman at the wheel, the DA said.
The man then allegedly saw Lantigua and an unidentified man walk out the front door of his home, the DA said. When he went inside, the resident found that his sister’s apartment in the home had been broken into and a gold chain, $1,500 cash and a handheld electronic game had been taken, Brown said.
Police in the 108th Precinct allegedly spotted the same van in Woodside at 1:35 p.m. driven by a blonde woman matching the description, the DA said. Officers saw Lantigua and Camillo enter a residence on 83rd Street and come back out, the DA’s office said.
The men fled on foot but were caught, Brown said, while officers apprehended Santana in the van.
After stopping the van, they found the 5âˆ’monthâˆ’old daughter of Lantigua and Santana and the 4âˆ’yearâˆ’old daughter of Santana and an unidentified man, Brown said. The children were placed in the custody of Santana’s sister and officials from the city Administration for Children’s Services were notified, the DA said.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by eâˆ’mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718âˆ’229âˆ’0300, Ext. 154.