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Judge Frees Man Accused of String of Break-Ins After DA Asks For Release

By Noah Hurowitz | February 22, 2017 11:46am | Updated on February 22, 2017 2:25pm

FLATIRON — An accused serial burglar bailed out last year while facing trial for 14 break-ins was re-arrested this month — but was freed on Wednesday at the prosecutor's request, according to court records and a spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Abraham Diaz was released on Wednesday without bail despite facing charges of stealing electronics from a Manhattan office, a crime police say he committed while free on $50,000 bail stemming from accusations of committing 14 burglaries in office buildings across Manhattan in 2015.

Diaz, 36, was spotted on surveillance cameras entering 234 Fifth Ave. on Feb. 10 and heading to the offices of Virtual Health Partners where he stole a MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro and a Samsung tablet while employees were in a meeting, according to a criminal complaint.

He’s also suspected of several other burglaries in Manhattan — but he hasn’t yet been charged with those, according to Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct.

“All of a sudden I guess he went back to his regular profession as a burglar,” Timoney said Tuesday at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council.

Diaz was arrested on Feb. 16 and arraigned on charges of burglary, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to a spokesman for the DA.

A judge ordered him held on $100,000 bail following the February arrest, but at a Wednesday hearing prosecutors asked a judge to release him, according to the spokesman who declined to comment further or explain why they requested bail.

Diaz, who has served stints in state prison for a 2002 attempted burglary conviction and a 2011 parole violation, committed the Feb. 10, 2017 burglary while awaiting trial for a string of burglaries in Manhattan office buildings in 2015, according to his criminal complaint.

Between June 24 and Oct. 2, 2015, Diaz carried out the following burglaries, according to a criminal complaint:

►On June 24 he stole property from a health-screening company located at 229 W. 36th St. between Seventh and Eighth avenues in the Garment District.

►On the same day, he stole a laptop from a marketing company in an office building at 30 W. 24th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Flatiron.

►On July 9 he returned to 229 W. 36th St. at 2:10 p.m. and swiped a wallet, a cellphone, a laptop, and a tablet totaling more than $1,000.

►Less than an hour later that day he walked into a yoga studio at 286 Fifth Ave. between 20th and 31st streets and stole a laptop.

►On July 23 he stole more than $1,000 from an office in an American Eagle located at Fifth Avenue and East 37th Street.

►On Aug. 12 he swiped a Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, and iPad, valued at over $1,000, from a web company at 451 Broadway between Grand and Howard streets in SoHo.

►On Aug. 18 he swiped a pair of Fendi sunglasses from the desk of a woman at her workplace inside 375 Fifth Ave. between East 35th and East 36th streets.

►On Aug. 27 he went into the office of an e-commerce company at 15 W. 28th St. between Fifth Avenue and Broadway and stole a laptop.

►On Sept. 1 he stole a laptop from an employee’s desk in a digital photography studio inside 866 Sixth Ave. between West 30th and West 31st streets.

►On Sept. 5 he stole a duffel bag containing three tablets, two laptops, and a camera valued at over $1,000 from an office inside 39 W. 38th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

►On Sept. 29 he stole five laptops, an iPad, and a camera valued at more than $1,000 from a footwear design company inside 247 W. 38th St. between Seventh and Eighth avenues.

►Later that day he stole two sets of headphones and two MacBook Airs valued at more than $1,000 from a branding agency inside 1181 Broadway at West 28th Street.

►On Oct. 2 he swiped four MacBooks valued at more than $1,000 from an advertising company located at 826 Broadway at East 12th Street.

Investigators linked Diaz to all 14 incidents using surveillance footage captured at the scenes. He was also connected to several of the burglaries by fingerprints left at the scenes, according to a criminal complaint.

A grand jury indicted him on 14 counts of burglary, eight counts of grand larceny and seven counts of petit larceny, and a judge set bail at $50,000 in November 2015, according to a spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

He was released in February 2016, according to Timoney, and appears to have stayed out of trouble until late last year when he was arrested on Dec. 30 for drug possession in Staten Island, records show.

Despite being out on bail for the earlier burglary arrests, a judge in Staten Island released him without bail under supervision, records show.

Less than two months later, he committed the most recent burglary, according to prosecutors.

A lawyer for Diaz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.