‘Dirty dozen’ burglars busted, police say

$150K in valuables looted from 12 homes


Police are accusing what they describe as a pair of burgling Grinches of stealing $150,000 in valuables from a dozen area homes over the holidays.

Joshua B. Mellado-Gonzalez, 32, and Mauricio J. Fuentes-Jimenez, 31 — both of Queens Village — were charged with 12 burglaries that stretched across communities that include Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Elmont, West Hempstead, Rockville Centre and Baldwin.

The investigation was led by detectives from the Nassau County Police department, along with investigators from the Lynbrook Police Department.

The arrests were made after piecing together information gleaned during hours of surveillance, according to Lynbrook police inspector Sean Murphy.

“It was good honest police work,” he said. “We had vehicles we knew were of interest. It was a lot of hard work to ascertain who they were and where they lived.”

Nassau County police declined comment, however, citing the ongoing investigation.

Five of the reported burglaries took place in Lynbrook, according to police, beginning on Madison Street on Nov. 29, and then continuing at two homes on Ocean Avenue in December, Vassar Place on Dec. 26 and Whitehall Street on Dec. 27.

Each of those homes were secured, Murphy said. “They just got into the houses whichever way they could.”

Also hit were homes on Rockaway Parkway in Valley Stream, Belmont Avenue in Elmont, Walton Street in West Hempstead, North Forest Avenue in Rockville Centre, DeMott Avenue in Baldwin, and West Clinton Avenue in Roosevelt.

Both Mellado-Gonzalez and Fuentes-Jimenez were arraigned Thursday in Hempstead.