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Posted on: October 22, 2021

Queens Man Convicted of Pattern Burglary Spree on North Shore

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Brayan Castano and accomplices stole more than $1 million in cash and items from gated homes on the North Shore

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith announced today that a Queens man was convicted for his role in a pattern burglary ring that targeted homes in gated communities on the North Shore of Nassau County.  

Brayan Castano, 33, of Elmhurst, Queens, was convicted in a jury trial of seven counts of burglary in the second degree, attempted burglary in the second degree and possession of burglar’s tools. Castano was acquitted of one count of burglary in the second degree. The trial, before Judge Helene Gugerty, began on September 20. The jury deliberated for just over a day before rendering a verdict. The defendant is due back for sentencing January 11, 2022. 

The case against co-defendant Andres Zapata is pending. Co-defendant Oscar Vera pleaded guilty for his role in the pattern burglary ring and is awaiting sentence.   

“Brayan Castano and his co-defendants invaded the homes of several families and stole their peace of mind and more than $1 million in cash and currency during a five-month burglary spree,” Acting DA Smith said. “More families would have been victimized and the spree would have continued without the expert work of the NCPD, who caught Castano red-handed as he burglarized a home in Jericho and arrested him, and my prosecutors who successfully tried this case.”

Acting DA Smith said that, according to the indictment, between May 2018 and September 2018, Castano and his co-defendants burglarized or attempted to burglarize nine houses in gated communities on the North Shore of Nassau County, stealing more than $1 million worth of other 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 nine incidents occurred on a Friday or Saturday night and the defendants entered the homes through breaking rear windows or doors. 

Castano and his co-defendants burglarized homes in Old Westbury, Manhasset, Jericho and Woodbury.

The defendant was arrested on September 21, 2018 by members of the Nassau County Police Department. 

Senior Litigation Counsel Stefanie Palma of the Homicide Bureau and Deputy Chief Rachael Whalen of the County Court Trial Bureau are prosecuting this case. Castano is represented by Jeff Groder, Esq.

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


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