Cops in the 61st Precinct say they’ve nabbed the crew of fire-escape fiends who, since November, were responsible for nearly twenty burglaries in Sheepshead Bay.
The bandits’ alleged getaway driver, 21-year-old Arman Poghosyan, sold out his alleged accomplices Merdan Aliyev, 21, Alex Kazinets, and another 16-year-old partner in crime almost immediately after an officer from the 61st Precinct tracked him down, cops said.
The officer, who works in the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit, nabbed Poghosyan after spotting a computer the suspect was selling on craigslist.com, which the rightful owner had reported stolen.
A source within the precinct said the suspects were likely responsible for as many as 37 burglaries, although they are currently only being charged with 18 or 19 counts each, according to a spokesman for the district attorney. The investigation remains open, but the spokesman refused to comment on whether additional charges are being considered.
“The cops bring in their evidence and we come up with the final determination, that’s where it stands,” said the spokesman. “Right now it’s an open case.”
Poghosyan allegedly drove the bandits’ getaway car during an 18-burglary spree beginning Nov. 25 and ending Feb. 26, where Kazinets and Aliyev scoured fire escapes on high rise apartments for open windows through which to gain easy entrance to the apartments, according to the district attorney’s office.
It’s unclear at this point what the younger suspect’s role was in the crime spree.
“It’s weird in a way. People who have a window facing a fire escape think, because it’s not a door, you can leave it unlocked,” said a police source in the 61st Precinct. “The truth is, almost anybody can have access to the fire escape. A lot of people don’t use their windows facing the fire escape, but they don’t lock them.”
The alleged getaway driver profited by a cash payment paid by the burglars after each job, and Poghosyan also allegedly enjoyed discount prices on the stolen items.
The suspected burglars’ crime spree took them across Sheepshead Bay, striking properties on Ocean and Shore parkways, Emmons and Ocean avenues, Avenues Y and P, and E. 9th, E. 13th, E. 15th, E. 18th, and E. 19th streets, according to the district attorney’s office.
If convicted, the arrest will prove a big win for officers in the 61st Precinct, who in February asked the Bay News to post a bulletin urging residents to lock their fire escape windows in response to the burglars’ brazen crime spree, and their modus operandi.
“Right now, there’s a condition where there are a lot of burglaries involving fire escapes,” said a source with the 61st Precinct at the time.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn