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82-Year-Old Stole $400,000 in Jewelry on Holiday Breaks, Police Say

He apparently used his advanced age and non-threatening demeanor to his advantage.

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An 82-year-old Florida resident spent his summer holidays traveling to Manhattan’s Upper East Side and possibly other locations to steal jewelry and watches, police say.

Samuel Sabatino is believed to have made off with $400,000 worth of other people’s valuables, The New York Times reports.

He allegedly targeted high-end residential buildings, slipping past doormen to enter the homes of people who were themselves on vacation. Sabatino was arrested at such a building on Saturday, having apparently driven from Florida for a Labor Day weekend heist, according to the newspaper.

Sabatino had been on the run for a decade. His burglaries have netted about $400,000 worth of jewelry and watches over the past few years, police say.

He’s been charged with 11 counts of burglary following an extensive investigation that authorities said covered multiple states.

He apparently used his advanced age and non-threatening demeanor to his advantage. Any time a doorman or resident became suspicious, he would act confused, police say.

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“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,” said Lt. Kevin Blake, who oversaw the investigation.

Sabatino was “not your typical ski mask-type guy,” Blake told the Times.

Police believe Sabatino may have been involved in burglaries in Arizona, California and Pennsylvania in addition to New York. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

Read more at The New York Times

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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