Two Bronx men face charges in a string of cellular phone store burglaries in Nassau County dating to last July, police said Tuesday.
Edwin Cardenas, 46, of Elsmere Place, was arrested at 10:20 a.m. Monday as he appeared for arraignment on an unrelated charge in Queens County Court, police said. He was charged by Nassau County police with seven counts of third-degree burglary and was arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead. Online court records show he was held on $100,000 bond or cash bail and his next court date is Thursday.
Police said an accomplice, Kelvyn Sanchez-Pena, 36, of Penfield Street, was arrested on Feb. 2 and charged with four counts of third-degree burglary. He was arraigned on Feb. 3 and court records show he was remanded in lieu of $12,500 bond or cash bail — and is due to appear next in court on April 1.
The arrests are the latest by the Burglary Pattern Team, created on Jan. 11 in response to an uptick in residential burglaries. Nassau police have seen a 28 percent increase in residential burglaries from Jan. 1 through March 9 this year over the same time period last year, according to department statistics.
Commercial burglaries are down 19 percent through March 17 year over year, according to the statistics.
Police said that beginning in July, the two men targeted cellular phone stores in Hicksville and Seaford — sometimes breaking into those businesses, other times breaking into adjacent shops to gain access. Once inside, they would steal cellphones and other electronic devices, police said.
Police said that on July 16 the pair entered the Aetna lighting store on South Broadway in Hicksville about 12:50 a.m., then cut a hole through the wall to gain entry to the adjacent T-Mobile Store.
On Aug. 5, police said, the two pried open the rear door of the AT&T store on Old Country Road in Hicksville, stealing electronics. Less than a week later, on Aug. 11, police said the two entered the Orchid Foot Spa on Merrick Road in Seaford at about 3:30 a.m., then broke through a wall to enter the Verizon store next door.
Finally, police said, the two again broke into the Aetna lighting store in Hicksville at about 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 15, again breaking through a wall to access the T-Mobile store, which they then burglarized — taking cellphones and electronics.
Police did not detail what evidence they think links the two men to the crime spree, and said only that Sanchez-Pena was arrested Feb. 2 at a location on Northern Boulevard in Queens.
The investigation is continuing, police said.