NEW YORK CITY — The ex-con being eyed in a dozen homes in Forest Hills over the past few months is a career criminal who was nabbed because he left a trail of blood behind in one of the alleged heists, sources and officials said.
Paul Hisler, 49, was arrested after investigators matched DNA evidence at the scene of a break-in last year to his profile in the state's database, according to court documents.
Beginning in February, there was a rash of 14 burglaries, in which jewelry, cash and other items were taken. The spree sent the burglary rate in the neighborhood skyrocketing some 90 percent over the same period the year before.
Hisler has only been charged with one burglary in the neighborhood last year, but since his arrest on May 1, there have been no burglaries in the area, sources said.
Investigators are still working to determine whether there were "other people responsible" for the spree, according to a police source.
After Hisler was taken into police custody, he allegedly tried to escape, shoving a table into the detective who was interviewing him at the 112th Precinct and then trying to dash out of the room.
When the detective tried to restrain him, he threw a punch and wrestled the cop to the ground, according to court documents.
A search of his home later revealed a Daisy air pistol, sources said.
Hisler had been charged with a heist on Dec. 18, 2012, when he allegedly broke into a house on Loubet Street, near Continental Avenue just after 7 a.m., but the racket he caused woke up the homeowner, according to a complaint from the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
When the victim spotted him standing in the kitchen, he fled, but left behind blood on the dining room floor and a pillow in the room, the documents said.
Hisler, who was being held on $500,000 bail, was charged with burglary and criminal mischief in the case. If convicted, he faces up to 16 years to life in prison.
Brown's office said the pattern of crimes is still under investigation.
In 2005, Hisler pleaded guilty to a burglary in Rego Park in which he was accused of taking several pieces of jewelry and hawking them at a nearby jewelry store for $158, according to court documents.
He served nearly four years in prison and was paroled in April 2010, according to state corrections records.
Two years before that burglary, he was arrested for casing a house on Selfridge Street, near Manse Street, in Forest Hills, according to court documents.
According to court documents, Hisler allegedly rang the doorbell, and then walked to the back of the home. He was stopped about a block away, where cops discovered that he had gloves, a surgical mask and prybar, court documents said.
He was hit with attempted burglary, among other charges, and pleaded guilty, sources said.
A lawyer for Hisler could not immediately be reached for comment.