Burglars hit apartments for rent

October 4, 2008 5:40:13 PM PDT
Police in Brooklyn are looking for one of two men who they say has been robbing apartments that are up for rent. One suspect is already in custody, but another is still on the loose.The suspects apparently pretended to be interested in renting the apartments. But once they got inside, authorities say the pair robbed them.

Neighbors are thinking twice about safety when looking to rent out apartments after a recent string of robberies. Police arrested 38-year-old Charles Lee on Saturday, and he is now charged with first-degree robbery and burglary. But they are still searching for 34-year-old David Lee in connection with four robberies at gunpoint.

David Lee was identified from a fingerprint lifted from one of the scenes. Police say the suspects would respond to apartment-for-rent ads in Asian newspapers. Once inside, they would tie the victim up and flee with their valuables.

"It's unbelievable," one area resident said. "I couldn't believe it when I heard."

The suspects hit in the areas of Borough Park and Sheepshead Bay, and twice in Bensonhurst. Just last week, neighbors say the pair woman in her 30s who was showing her second-floor apartment on 18th Avenue.

Wah So says his son helped the woman, who only speaks Chinese, tell the police what happened.

"It's a real danger," So said. "Because if it's a single girl there, and there's the two men, and you have to think about what could happen."

Police are asking anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Thalia Patillo

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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