A $2,000 reward has been offered for the capture of a brutal burglar who clubbed a 69-year-old woman inside her Dyker Heights home last week.
On top of the reward, an increased police presence has been seen in the leafy upscale neighborhood – a presence that includes more cops dispatched from two mobile command centers – one on 75th Street and 13th Avenue as well as 69th Street and 12th Avenue — in the days that followed the Friday attack.
“When you hit someone in the head the way that this guy did, that’s a total disregard for human life,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct. “This is someone we want to get.”
The effort to find the burglar was so intense last weekend that the NYPD crime lab was opened on Mother’s Day so they could process any trace evidence that they recovered at the scene of the attack, according to at least one source.
Police said that the thief entered the home of Carmella Boccadifuoco just before 10 p.m. on May 9 by forcing open a back window to her home on 70th Street near 12th Avenue.
The thief reportedly crept through the house, and stopped to peer into a bedroom where Boccadifuoco’s 97-year-old Alzheimer-stricken mother slept before running into the 69-year-old in the kitchen.
The thief repeatedly struck Boccadifuoco in the head with a heavy object and fled the home, taking nothing, officials said.
Officials said that Boccadifuoco, the mother of a cop, was taken to an area hospital where she needed upwards of two dozen staples to close the head wound she received. She was released the next day from Lutheran Medical Center.
Boccadifuoco’s mother was not injured, officials said.
“It’s just so upsetting,” said Roseann DeVito-Boccadifuoco, Carmella’s daughter-in-law told reporters. “They invaded her home. She feels so violated and scared.”
Pulling out all the stops in the investigations, cops have reportedly recovered a shoe-print of the burglar. They also found video footage of the thief as he scrambled out of the area, officials said.
Investigators are currently trying to see if the burglar was also responsible for an attempted burglary that took place two blocks away on 72nd Street near 10th Avenue.
Residents there said someone tried to break into the house through a rear window at about 10 p.m. that night, but fled the area before entering.
Another shoe print was recovered at that scene, yet it reportedly didn’t match the one taken from Boccadifuoco’s house, officials said.
It’s possible that the thief who harmed the senior was part of a burglary crew that’s been hitting the area, officials said.
Although each thief tried to enter the home through a rear window, and that the backs of the homes weren’t well lit at the time of these break-ins, Rodriguez said that, so far, no burglary patterns have surfaced in Dyker Heights. Burglaries throughout the 68th Precinct is down by nearly seven percent, he said.
“We’ve upped enforcement and brought more manpower to the area,” he said. “Still if anyone sees anything suspicious or feels afraid about something, they should call us.”
Anyone with information regarding Friday’s break-in is urged to come forward.
Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.