Fake plumbers busted for repeatedly attempting to break into Ridgewood apartment: cops

Photo via Pxhere

Two alleged burglars who posed as plumbers and came calling to the same Ridgewood apartment on three consecutive mornings were busted by police last week, law enforcement sources said.

They were identified as Wilson Cantarero-Lopez, 34, of Brooklyn and Jose Penalo-Pena, 22, of the Bronx.

According to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, the trouble began between 3 and 4 a.m. on Nov. 28, when the suspects first visited a woman’s apartment on St. Nicholas Avenue near Grove Street.

Police said the woman heard banging on the front door and looked through the peephole. She spotted the two suspects, who then announced themselves as plumbers and demanded entry. One even demanded that the victim “open the f—ing door.” The duo left after the woman refused to comply.

Law enforcement sources said the suspects returned around the same time the following morning, Nov. 29. Again, the suspects banged on the front door, claimed to be plumbers and demanded entry into her apartment.

When the woman threatened to call police, authorities said, she observed through a nearby window two men entering a minivan and driving away.

The burglarized home on St. Nicholas Avenue in Ridgewood (photo via Google Maps)
The burglarized home on St. Nicholas Avenue in Ridgewood (photo via Google Maps)

Cops finally busted Cantarero-Lopez and Penalo-Pena after being called to the home at 9:50 a.m. on Nov. 30. The victim told police that the suspects knocked on her door between 7 and 8 a.m. that morning and again shouted that they needed to come in. She refused entry, and the duo allegedly went to a nearby location.

Officers from the 104th Precinct spotted one of the suspects exit the nearby location and spotted a pair of metal pliers propping open the bottom of the front door. The other was found inside the residence on a stairwell.

Police recovered from the duo a screwdriver, pliers, a quantity of zip-ties, a multi-tool appliance and a razor knife. They also found in Penalo-Pena’s possession a blue plastic bag containing a marijuana cigarette and a quantity of cocaine.

Both suspects were charged with attempted burglary, burglary, possession of burglar’s tools and criminal trespass.

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