Man Charged with String of 11 Break-Ins Around Queens
QUEENS — A Brooklyn man who in September was charged with a burglary in Ozone Park is accused of breaking into 10 other homes throughout the borough, including Forest Hills, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Wednesday.
Mario Girau, 28, of Cypress Hills, is accused of stealing jewelry, cameras, sports memorabilia, ammunition and computer equipment worth thousands of dollars, according to the DA’s office.
Girau, who is charged with multiple counts of burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon, faces 150 years in prison if convicted, Brown said.
Most of the break-ins occurred in Forest Hills, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Howard Beach, starting in January 2013, with the exception of one burglary that occurred in 2011, in Ridgewood, according to the Queens DA's office.
Girau has also a history of arrests for burglary and attempted burglary dating back to 2006.
Brown, calling the alleged burglary spree a “one-man crime wave,” said that “people’s homes are their sanctuaries and this defendant is alleged to have crossed a very serious line in entering those homes and stealing personal and valuable items.”
According to police officials, officers from the 112th Precinct were investigating burglaries around Metropolitan Avenue when they spotted Girau’s car, a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, in the neighborhood.
The suspect in the Forest Hills pattern also drove a Chrysler Pacifica.
The officers watched the suspect pacing around a house and took his license plate number, police said.
They then followed the man to Ozone Park, where they watched him allegedly break into the Tahoe Street home and arrested him soon after.
Police found jewelry in his pants' pocket, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators, who obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s house, found more than 200 electronic and jewelry items, police said.
Police later identified some of these items as belonging to 10 people whose homes had been burglarized, according to the Queens DA’s office.
In their search, they discovered a Canon camera that was allegedly stolen from the Ridgewood home in 2011. Investigators tracked down a woman that had just gotten married shown in pictures on the camera.
They later discovered that guests at the wedding who had taken the images had been the victims of the Ridgewood burglary.
Girau's lawyer did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.