Staten Island man arrested for digging his way into six Queens shops and stealing $40K

A Staten Island man faces seven years in prison for breaking into six Queens commercial buildings and snatching nearly $40,000.
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He can’t dig his way out of this one.

A Staten Island man has been charged for breaking into six commercial businesses across Queens over a one-year span, allegedly stealing nearly $40,000 in cash, lottery tickets and cigarettes, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced.

According to the indictment, Hector Rodriguez, 38, broke into six grocery stores and bodegas in Queens Village, Woodside, Jackson Heights, North Corona and Jamaica by either cutting a hole in the roof or breaking a hole in the establishment’s back wall between Oct. 8, 2015, and Sept. 15 of this year.

“The defendant is accused of brazenly burglarizing various businesses by literally breaking into the buildings — creating holes in rooftops and/or walls to get inside,” Brown said. “[He] is now facing prison time for these alleged acts.”

According to the charges, Rodriguez was allegedly observed in video surveillance footage in each of the capers wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sneakers, while carrying a crowbar and flashlight.

Rodriguez was arraigned late Tuesday night, Dec. 27, before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Toko Serita on a 15-count indictment charging him with five counts of third-degree burglary, one count of petit larceny, four counts of third-degree grand larceny, four counts of third-degree criminal mischief and one count of third-degree attempted burglary.

Bail was set at $100,000 and Rodriguez was ordered to return to court on March 8, 2017. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.