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The parents of two children who brought their offspring along on a series of break-ins in Queens and another man pleaded guilty to burglary charges last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Corona resident Hugo Lantigua, 22; Flushing resident Erika Santa, 23; and Brooklyn resident Pedro Camillo, 20, were arrested April 20 in Woodside.
Lantigua and Camillo pleaded guilty Oct. 14 to attempted burglary before Queens Criminal Court Judge Lenora Gerald. Each is expected to receive five years in prison and five years of supervised release at their sentencing Nov. 2, the DA said.
Santa pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted burglary and was expected to draw six months in jail and five years’ probation when she is sentenced Dec. 3, Brown said.
“Burglary is a serious crime in and of itself,” Brown said in a statement. “It is unthinkable that a mother and father would put their children in harm’s way while committing these crimes. It is even more unimaginable that they would do so with a loaded handgun in their vehicle.”
Shortly after noon April 20, a Maspeth man left his 63rd Street home, Brown said. Upon returning home, he spotted a blue van parked in front with a blonde woman at the wheel, the DA said. The man then saw Lantigua and another man walk out the front door of his home, the DA said.
After going inside, the resident found that his sister’s apartment in the home had been broken into and a gold chain, $1,500 cash and a handheld electronic game had been taken.
A short time later, police in the 108th Precinct allegedly spotted the same van in East Elmhurst, driven by a blond woman matching the description, the DA said. Officers saw Lantigua and Camillo enter a residence on 83rd Street and come back out, the DA’s office said.
All three defendants were subsequently stopped by the police — Santa in the van and the others on foot — and arrested.
When they searched the van, police discovered two young girls: 5-month-old Brianna Lantigua, the daughter of Lantigua and Santa, and 4-year-old Genesis Jiminez, Santa’s daughter with an unidentified man.
The children were placed in the custody of Santa’s sister and officials from the city Administration for Children’s Services were notified.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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