NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Queens man charged with burglarizing homes was arrested with a box containing the cremated ashes of a woman’s mother, authorities said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday that Randolph Ardila was arrested after an officer saw the box in a car that witnesses identified leaving the robbed house. Ardila also had a screwdriver to forcibly open house doors, Brown said.
The charges against Ardila, 28, of Maspeth, include burglary, attempted burglary and possession of stolen property. He was arraigned Sunday and was ordered to be held on $150,000 bail. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Police believe Adrila was working with other burglars who have not been apprehended.
Mary Scarpati, 70, said she noticed the gold box inscribed with her mom’s name and date of death was among the camera, jewelry and other items stolen Friday night from her living room.
Scarpati said she was devastated when she saw it was missing but is relieved authorities returned it.
Ardila’s attorney didn’t return a request for comment.
Raheim West, 37, of Long Island City, was also arrested in connection with several unrelated burglaries in Queens, Brown said. The charges against him include burglary, attempted burglary, grand larceny and criminal mischief. He was arraigned Monday and ordered to be held on $200,000 bail.
West faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted.
“The defendants are accused of brazenly committing a rash of burglaries across a wide swath of Queens County — including the neighborhoods of Ridgewood,
Glendale, Ozone Park, Flushing, College Point and Corona,” Brown said in a news release. “According to the charges, nobody was safe from the crimes allegedly perpetrated by the defendants — including the dead.”
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