Andres Zapata and co-defendants stole more than $1 million in cash and items from gated communities on the North Shore
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced today that a Queens man was convicted for his role in a pattern burglary spree, in which he and accomplices stole more than $1 million from homes in gated communities on the North Shore of Nassau County.
Andres Zapata, 23, was convicted after a jury trial before Judge Helene Gugerty on April 12, 2022, of seven counts of Burglary in the Second Degree (a C felony); Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree (a D felony); and Possession of Burglar Tools (an A misdemeanor). The defendant was found not guilty of one count of Assault in the Second Degree (a D felony). The trial began on March 14, 2022, and the jury deliberated for less than a day before delivering their verdict. The defendant is due back in court on May 26, 2022, where he faces a maximum of up to 15 years in prison on each burglary count.
“Andres Zapata and his co-defendants preyed on North Shore families for five months, gaining access to their homes and stealing more than $1 million in cash, jewelry, and other items,” said DA Donnelly. “Zapata was caught in the act by NCPD officers, tried, and convicted for his crimes. I thank the Nassau County Police Department and commend my prosecutors for their work in bringing this defendant to justice.”
DA Donnelly said that, according to the charges, between May 2018 and September 2018, Zapata and his co-defendants burglarized or attempted to burglarize eight houses in gated communities on the North Shore of Nassau County, stealing more than $1 million in people’s property, including U.S. currency, foreign currency, jewelry and designer handbags.
The burglary ring specifically chose gated communities with one entrance into and out of the community. A lookout was stationed at the gate so that if police responded to the home being burglarized the crew member could alert accomplices that cops were nearby. All of the crimes occurred on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights, and the defendants entered the homes through breaking rear windows or doors.
Zapata and his co-defendants burglarized homes in Old Westbury, Manhasset, Jericho and Woodbury.
Zapata was arrested on September 21, 2018, by members of the Nassau County Police Department.
Co-defendant Brayan Castano, 33, of Elmhurst, Queens, was convicted after a jury trial before Judge Gugerty on October 22, 2021, of seven counts of Burglary in the Second Degree; Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree; and Possession of Burglar Tools. The defendant is expected to be sentenced on April 18, 2022, where he faces a maximum of up to 15 years in prison on each burglary count.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Stefanie Palma of the Homicide Bureau and Deputy Chief Rachael Whalen of the County Court Trial Bureau. Zapata is represented by William Shanahan, Esq. Castano is represented by Jeff Groder, Esq.