By Rebecca Henely
Two Elmhurst men were arraigned on charges of burglary, drug possession and endangering the welfare of a child last Thursday after they were allegedly caught trying to sell stolen items to a Woodside store while one of the men’s 3-year-old daughter waited in the back of the car, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
NYPD officers from the department’s Burglary Larceny Apprehension and Surveillance Team were following Michael Natindim, 34, and Edgar Mortel, 22, early in the morning July 26, the DA said. Natindim lives at Van Loon Street and Grand Avenue, while Mortel lives at 83rd Street and 57th Avenue, the DA said.
The duo stopped at three residences in Elmhurst, Little Neck and Flushing that morning before taking items to Dr. PC, an electronics repair business on 43rd Avenue in Woodside, for sale on the black market around 1:30 p.m., the DA said. When the police arrested them, Natindim said his daughter, 3, was in the back of the car at the time, the DA said.
The electronic devices the men were allegedly trying to sell included an ASUS laptop, an Apple external CD drive, an iPhone and a watch, the DA said. Further investigation of the Lincoln Navigator they were driving allegedly revealed electronics like a Sony camcorder, a Sony camera, a Seagate Hard Drive, a Metro PCS cell phone and a MacBook laptop, the DA said.
Other items allegedly found were flashlights, pliers, gloves, and a rock-like substance and a pipe with residue that is suspected to be methamphetamine, the DA said.
The men were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Stephanie Zaro and charged with multiple counts of burglary, stolen property, possession of burglar’s tools, criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal trespass, the DA said.
Natindim was also charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the DA said. Natindim, who fell asleep while being taken away in a police car, allegedly said he had smoked methamphetamine before his arrest, the DA said. Police allegedly also found a stolen credit card, two blowtorches and more of the rock-like substance thought to be methamphetamine at Natindim’s home later, the DA said.
Natindim and Mortel were also charged with four burglaries that occurred between June 22 and 25 in Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows and Flushing, the DA said.
Zaro ordered Natindim held on a $40,000 bail and Mortel on $15,000 bail, the DA said. Their next court date is July 11, the DA said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.