2002-09-26 / Front Page

THREE ROOFTOP BURGLARS CAUGHT

By Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers

Three teenage burglary suspects were caught almost red handed early last Saturday as they emerged through the back window of a Rockaway Parkway shop they had allegedly just burglarized after entering through a hole in the roof.

The circumstances surrounding the arrest of the youths began at about 3:25 a.m. September 21 when patrolling police from the 69 Precinct responded to a call that an alarm was sounding from the roof above the New Food King store at 1464 Rockaway Parkway in the shopping district between Conklin Avenue and Glenwood Road.

Captain Robert Johnsen, commanding officer of the precinct, said the responding officers were aware that there had been an attempted break-in from the roof two weeks ago, during which there was nothing stolen. While they were staking out the area, the officers called for backup from the Brooklyn South Emergency Service Unit.

At the same time, an anonymous caller from Conklin Avenue, adjacent to the rear yards of the stores, called 911 to report he saw someone running across the rooftops of the buildings there.

Precinct Patrol Supervisor Sergeant Kathleen Caesar, along with Police Officers David Olsen, Tara King and Michael Spera then quietly climbed up to the roof from the Conklin Avenue side, spotted the area where the roof was broken above the store, and heard burglars moving and whispering inside.

The officers waited a few moments and soon two of the youths were seen climbing out a window into the rear yard where ESU officers stopped them and told them to lie on the ground with their hands on their heads.

Five minutes later, a third youth came out from behind a shed near the rear of the store. When the precinct officers climbed down from the roof, they handcuffed the boys and took them to the Foster Avenue stationhouse.

According to Captain Robert Johnsen, commanding officer of the local precinct, a thorough search of the area — inside the store and outside on the grounds — was conducted by ESU officers using police dogs but no other suspects were found.

The names of two of the suspects were not released because they are under age. The third boy is Michael Reggler, 16. All three were charged with burglary.

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