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Police Nab 'Career Criminal' After Rooftop Chase Through Clinton Hill

By Janet Upadhye | March 23, 2015 9:55am
 Police chased suspected burglar John Boyer, 53, across rooftops and backyards before they caught him.
Police chased suspected burglar John Boyer, 53, across rooftops and backyards before they caught him.
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DNAinfo/Janet Upadhye, DOCC

FORT GREENE — Police from the 88th Precinct nabbed a "career criminal" after a wild foot chase over rooftops, down fire escapes and through backyards, police said.

Capt. Peter Fiorillo called the suspect, John Boyer, a "thorn in the precinct." 

"One person can have a major affect on this place," he said.

In addition to a recent burglary in Clinton Hill, Fiorillo believes that Boyer, 53, is responsible for seven other residential burglaries in the area in recent months, though he has not yet been charged for those burglaries.

Boyer served five stints in state prison dating back to 1980 — mainly for burglary, attempted burglary and robbery — and he most recently spent nearly eight years in prison for burglary, according to state Department of Correction records.

He was released last November and was arrested again less than two months later, according to Corrections and the NYPD.

Boyer was seen by witnesses peering into a window of a Clinton Avenue residence from a fire escape around midnight on Jan. 16. The witnesses called police when they saw Boyer attempting to open the window, the NYPD said.

Police chased Boyer over two rooftops and down the fire escape before pursuing him through two backyards.

They finally cornered him in a fenced-in area behind 419 Clinton Ave., according to the NYPD.

Officers arrested Boyer and found jewelry in his pocket along with a crack pipe, police said.

Boyer's recent arrest was similar to an earlier arrest when he was charged with entering homes — via the rear window and fire escape — on Ocean Avenue, Avenue K, Shore Boulevard and West Tenth Street in Brooklyn and swiping jewelry, electronics and cash, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney.

Boyer was charged with burglary, trespassing and possession of drugs, according to the NYPD. He was being held on eight charges of trespassing and one charge of drug possession. 

Boyer's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment and it is unclear when he will return to court. His parole officer could not be reached for comment.