A Brooklyn man who admitted in court last month to burglarizing a number of Ridgewood homes began serving what could be a life prison sentence on Thursday.
Paul Rodriguez, 39, pleaded guilty in May to second-degree attempted burglary, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. On June 14, Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis ordered Rodriguez — who was classified as a mandatory persistent violent felon — to serve between 12 years to life in prison.
“Over the span of six months, [Rodriguez] brazenly busted through locked doors and windows to steal the property of others,” Brown said in a June 15 statement. “Not only did he violate the sanctity of the victims’ homes, he caused damage that forced the occupants to dig into their pockets to secure their homes again. Good police work led to the capture of this serial burglar, who has now been sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration.”
Police picked up Rodriguez in April 2017 after he burglarized several homes in Sunnyside, then attempted to pawn off the stolen items at a Bushwick store. He was subsequently linked to a dozen burglaries in the Ridgewood area.
In pleading guilty, prosecutors said, Rodriguez admitted guilt to three specific incidents.
On Nov. 4, 2016, he broke into an apartment located on Harman Street near Irving Avenue in Bushwick through a fire escape. In that incident, he left behind a screwdriver that police later recovered. They found on the tool DNA evidence later linked to Rodriguez.
Then, on Feb. 23, 2017, Rodriguez attempted to break into an apartment on Seneca Avenue near Greene Avenue in Ridgewood. As in the Nov. 4, 2016, incident, he tried to get in through a fire escape.
Finally, on April 5, 2017, Rodriguez attempted to pry open the front door of an apartment on 48th Street in Sunnyside; he was caught shortly thereafter.
At the May 2017 meeting of the 104th Precinct Community Council, Captain John Mastronardi, the precinct’s commander, noted that detectives were able to link Rodriguez to the burglary pattern by securing a warrant to examine the GPS in Rodriguez’s vehicle.