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Posted on: August 6, 2021

DNA Profile Match Leads to Arrest in Elmont Restaurant Burglary

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Riqui Rodriguez allegedly threw brick through window of Elmont Seafood restaurant; Defendant suspected of other burglaries in New York City

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith announced the arraignment of a Brooklyn man on charges of burglary for allegedly entering an Elmont restaurant and stealing approximately $200 cash from the register. The defendant’s DNA profile was a match to DNA recovered from the scene and he is suspected of other burglaries in the New York City area. 

Riqui Rodriguez, a/k/a/ Riqui Nunez, 37, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was arraigned Thursday before Judge Christopher Hoefenkrieg on one count of burglary in the third degree (a D felony), and one count of criminal mischief in the third degree (an E felony). Bail was set at $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond, or $1 million partially secured bond. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison on the top count. Rodriguez is due back in court on September 17, 2021.  

“Using the forensic tools at our disposal and other evidence, we allege that Riqui Rodriguez broke into a mom and pop restaurant and stole money from the register,” Acting DA Smith said. “The defendant is a potential suspect in numerous other New York City burglaries, and I encourage anyone with information to contact our criminal complaint hotline at 516-571-3505. I thank our partners at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office Division of Forensic Services, and the Nassau County Police Department Fifth Squad for their assistance in this investigation.” 

Acting DA Smith said, on July 18, 2020, Rodriguez allegedly threw a brick through the window of the SeaFood House restaurant at 247 Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont and entered the restaurant illegally through the broken window. Rodriguez allegedly took the cash register, smashed it to the ground, and stole approximately $200 in cash before leaving through the same broken window. Both DNA and video evidence were recovered from the scene. Rodriguez’s DNA profile was a match to the DNA recovered at the Elmont burglary. 

The DNA profile generated from this investigation, which matches the DNA profile of Riqui Rodriguez, was also found to be a match to DNA samples found at more than a dozen additional burglaries of businesses including restaurants, pharmacies, and nail salons in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. 

Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hernan of the Forensic Science/Cold Case Prosecution Unit is prosecuting the case. The defendant is represented by Colleen Baktis, Esq. 

The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.


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