HARTFORD, CT — Monroe police officers joined other law enforcement agencies in an investigation, spanning from Connecticut to New York and beyond, following a break-in at the Verizon store at 464 Main St. It led to the arrest and conviction of a Bronx man for his participation in a “brazen burglary ring,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On Tuesday, Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Alexander J. Santiago, 27, was sentenced to 90 months of imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford. The sentence is followed by three years of supervised release.
The burglary ring stole millions of dollars worth of vehicles, phones, ATMs and other merchandise from numerous locations in Connecticut, New York and elsewhere.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Santiago was a member of a theft ring that, between June 2020 and January 2021, primarily burglarized car dealerships and mobile phone stores in Connecticut and New York.
From dealerships they stole vehicle key fobs and vehicles, and from mobile phone stores they stole cell phones, electronics and other merchandise. Conspiracy members also stole ATMs from check cashing businesses and burglarized video game stores.
Santiago and his associates committed more than 180 burglaries and stole more than $4 million in property, according to the press release.
Santiago and his associates often burglarized multiple locations in one night and, on numerous occasions, escaped from police by engaging officers in high-speed chases that had to be terminated for safety reasons. An apparent tally found on Santiago’s phone after his arrest indicated that he had engaged police in 89 chases.
The investigation also revealed that Santiago and some of his associates possessed firearms during the conspiracy.
On January 15, 2021, when investigators sought to conduct a court-authorized search of Santiago’s residence, Santiago’s pit bull attacked an FBI agent and badly wounded his arm.
Santiago was arrested, and a search of the residence revealed approximately 20 new cell phones in boxes, approximately 40 vehicle key fobs, a police radio, a glass-punch device, two firearms and a substantial amount of ammunition.
On February 16, 2021, Santiago and three co-conspirators were charged in a 13-count superseding indictment. A fourth co-conspirator was subsequently charged.
Santiago has been detained since his arrest. On February 22, 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of stolen property.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Connecticut State Police, with the assistance of approximately 30 local police departments, including Monroe. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert S. Ruff and Ray Miller.