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DNA hunt for vicious burglar - Cops on the trail of suspect wanted in bludgeoning attack on senior

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Cops say they’re “going all out” in their hunt for the vicious thug that bashed a 69-year-old woman inside her Dyker Heights home.

Authorities are employing modern DNA forensics as well as old-fashioned police work in their round-the-clock search for the brazen burglar, according to Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez of the 68th Precinct.

“There are some vicious and violent crimes that went on in the last couple of days to cause concern,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously it’s a major concern to us.”

“We’re doing everything we can to get these people,” he stated.

The precinct commander provided an update on a spate of burglaries during a recent meeting of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, held at the St. Philips parish hall.

The attack occurred at about 9:30pm on Friday, May 9 at a house on 70th street near 12th Avenue.

Cops say the intruder entered the home through a rear window.

The burglar was confronted by a 69-year-old resident, identified as Carmela Boccadifuocco, who lives with and cares for her 95-year-old mother.

The thief repeatedly struck Boccadifuocco on the back of her head with a heavy object.

“He proceeded to go through the house and ransack it. We believe he only took one piece of jewelry out of the house,” Rodriguez said.

Police say the victim’s wounds were so severe that she required twenty staples in her head.

Boccadifuocco was treated at Lutheran Medical Center and released the following day. Her elderly mother was not hurt.

Immediately police descended on the quiet Dyker Heights neighborhood. But despite the extra cops, an attempted burglary was reported the following night only blocks from the first violent attack.

Cops say again the intruder tried to break into a home through the back of a house on 10th Avenue and 70th Street.

But when a window shattered, the crook fled the scene empty-handed.

“He cut his hand and there was blood at the scene,” Rodriguez said.

The deputy inspector said DNA evidence was collected from both locations and is currently being analyzed.

Footprints were also found at both crime scenes, Rodriguez said.

“The footprints don’t match on the two, however that doesn’t mean it’s not the same person,” he said.

On the night of the initial attack, a police helicopter searched for the suspect from the sky.

“They went all out on this,” Rodriguez said.

The police crime lab was opened up on Mother’s Day so evidence could begin to be analyzed.

Since the May 9 home invasion there has also been a marked increase in local police manpower. The precinct commander said he was being provided with between a dozen and twenty extra cops each day to work the case and provide extra patrols.

“We’re stopping a lot of people and we’re locking up a lot of people,” the deputy inspector said. “A lot of my guys are coming in on their days off just to help us out and to make sure we get the job done.”

Rodriguez reported that in the past 28 days, his precinct had arrested twelve people in connection with various robberies. However, the manhunt for 69-year-old’s attacker continues.

“Hopefully in the next few days we’ll get some good news on this DNA and we can put this guy, or this group of guys, behind bars,” the commander said.

Rodriguez encouraged residents to be on guard and report anything suspicious. He said suspect descriptions, license plate information and direction of travel is particularly helpful.

“If you see people in your backyard that don’t belong there, please call us,” he said. “We’re all in this together.”

Despite the troubling recent crime trend, Deputy Inspector Rodriguez said the number of burglary reports in Dyker Heights was actually down from last year.

Speaking at the Dyker Heights Civic Association meeting, Rodriguez publicly thanked Dyker Heights Civic Association president Fran Vella-Marrone, as well as State Senator Marty Golden and City Councilmember Vincent Gentile.

“Right when the first incident happened, and then ever since, they’re been on the phone offering their support,” he said.

Fran Vella-Marrone praised Rodriguez and his precinct for their efforts.

“There has been a lot of communication, and we very much appreciate that,” Vella-Marrone said.

She later added, “It is my personal opinion that these burglaries are drug-related.”

Vella-Marrone suggested a future meeting between the Dyker Heights Civic Association, Community Board 10 and the 68th Precinct so that community leaders could “monitor the situation.”

A $2000 reward has been offered for the capture of the burglar who clubbed 69-year-old Carmela Boccadifucco. Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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