An 82-year-old man known as the & # 39; holiday burglar & # 39; who allegedly slipped into ritzy New York apartment buildings by pretending to live there has been arrested, ending with years of unsolved robberies, police say.
It was a suspicious doorman in a building on the Upper East Side during Labor Day weekend that helped Samuel Sabatino after having reportedly committed at least a dozen burglaries five years back and according to police $ 400,000 in jewelry and watches.
Sabatino was instructed by the porter to leave the building, not knowing that on leaving officers he would come across ordinary clothes who had been watching him.
& # 39; I am relieved that this became an annual event because we could expect that we would become Memorial Day, Four of July and Labor Day weekends every summer & # 39 ;, Lieutenant Kevin Blake told the New York Times.
Samuel Sabatino, 82, in a video that was still released by the NYPD in 2015. According to the police, the Sabatino criminal record goes back decades. Lieutenant Kevin Blake described him as a & # 39; career criminal & # 39 ;, who passed the law until the end of the 1960s, almost all for burglaries
& # 39; And it became a bit frustrating that we couldn't catch the man. I mean, he's 82 years old, but he was elusive to say the least. & # 39;
The NYPD confirmed that Sabatino was arrested on August 31 and accused of 11 counts of burglary, in what some prosecutors conducted a & # 39; extensive and high-tech investigation & # 39; in several states.
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound seniors are being held in the Manhattan Detention Complex. If he is convicted, he is in prison for up to 15 years.
Renee Hill, his co-defense lawyer, said it was too early to comment on the allegations against her client.
& # 39; He has been sold for 82 years and a very charming man, & # 39; Bronx's lawyer told DailyMail.com. & # 39; I cannot really comment on this moment. & # 39;
Sabatino mingled with the modest nature among the residents and even complimented them on their dogs so that he could walk into the buildings as if he were one of them, the authorities claim.
If he detected, he would claim confusion and say he had entered the wrong building.
& # 39; Not your typical guy of the ski mask type, & # 39; Blake, who oversaw the investigation, said to the Times. & # 39; He looks like your typical older gentleman. & # 39;
Sabatino, also known as the & # 39; Fourth of July & # 39; burglar, was supposed to be on vacation from Miami to New York and sometimes California, Arizona and Pennsylvania to focus on luxury apartments when residents were on vacation .
Traveling to the top, or near the top of his target buildings, Sabatino would look for apartment entrances where newspapers would pile up or packages would stay in the hall, police said.
His family members did not respond immediately when DailyMail.com contacted.
Trina, his daughter, sounded shocked when the Times asked about her father's arrest. & # 39; Oh no! & # 39; she cried over the telephone and let out a long wail.
& # 39; But he is 81! & # 39; said the daughter and refused to comment further on the life of her father or his motive.
It was not the first time that Sabatino was reportedly the target of a building on the Upper East Side. In 2001 a resident found him in his apartment with 42 jewels in his pockets. Faced with 15 years of imprisonment, Sabatino went crazy, police say until his last arrest
The police say that the Sabatino criminal record goes back decades. Blake described him to the Times as a & # 39; career criminal & # 39 ;, who passed the law until the end of the 1960s, almost all for burglaries.
It was also not the first time he was caught suspected of attacking a building on the Upper East Side.
In 2001, a resident found him in his apartment, according to a criminal complaint, the Times reports.
Sabatino pretended to be checking gas leaks, but a porter still called the police.
Sabatino had 42 jewels in his pockets and a list of apartments with the times next to them, the complaint said. If he was found guilty, he was in prison for 15 years for alleged burglaries.
Police say he jumped on bail and escaped authorities through the use of different identities.
Rachel Polisner, assistant prosecutor at Sabatino's prosecution, said he used James Clement and other names for years, reports the Times.
Polisner asked the court to set bail at $ 1 million, saying he was a flight risk.
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