(fashion) An 82-year-old man known as the 'Holiday burglar' who allegedly slipped into ritzy New York apartment buildings by pretending he lived there has been arrested, ending years of unsolved robberies, cops say.
It was a suspicious doorman at a building on the Upper East Side over Labor Day weekend who helped nab Samuel Sabatino, who is alleged to have carried out at least a dozen burglaries going back five years that yielded $400,000 in jewelry and watches, according to police.
Sabatino was told by the doorman to leave the premises, not knowing that upon exiting he would run into plain clothes officers who had been watching him.
'I'm relieved because this was becoming a yearly occurrence, because we could expect to get hit on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend every summer,' Lieutenant Kevin Blake told the New York Times.
Samuel Sabatino, 82, in a video still released by the NYPD in 2015. Cops say Sabatino's criminal record goes back decades. Lieutenant Kevin Blake described him as a 'career criminal,' who has had brushes with the law going back to the late 1960s, almost all for burglaries
'And it was becoming a bit frustrating that we couldn't catch the guy. I mean he's 82 years old, but he was elusive to say the least.'
The NYPD confirmed Sabatino was arrested August 31 and charged with 11 counts of burglary, in what what prosecutors called an 'extensive and high-tech investigation' across multiple states.
The 5-foot-9, 195lbs senior citizen is being detained at the Manhattan Detention Complex. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
Renee Hill, his co-defense lawyer, said it was too early to comment on the allegations made against her client.
'He's 82-year-sold and a very charming man,' the Bronx attorney told DailyMail.com. 'I cannot really give any comments at this time.'
Using an unassuming nature, Sabatino allegedly mingled with residents and even complimented to them about their dogs so that he could walk into the buildings