A Nassau County judge sentenced a Queens man to 20 years in prison for taking part in a burglary ring and stealing more than $1 million in cash and valuables from gated community homes on the North Shore.

Andres Zapata, 24, was convicted in April of seven counts of burglary, attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools

“Andres Zapata and his co-defendants brazenly burglarized homes on the North Shore, smashing rear windows and doors to gain access and making off with cash, jewelry, and other luxury items,” said Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly. “This sophisticated burglary operation was ended when Nassau County Police Department officers caught these individuals in the act and arrested them. Today’s sentence holds Zapata accountable for his unsettling crime spree.”

Prosecutors said Zapata and other members of the burglary ring targeted eight houses from May to September 2018, stealing cash, foreign currency, jewelry and designer handbags.

Zapata and others targeted gated communities on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in Old Westbury, Manhasset, Jericho and Woodbury. A lookout was stationed at the gate to let them know before police arrived. The burglars would enter homes by breaking into back windows or doors, prosecutors said.

Nassau County police arrested Zapata in September 2018. A co-defendant Brayan Castano, 34, of Elmhurst Queens, who was convicted last year, was sentenced in June to 30 years in prison.  

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