Released career burglar turns himself in

March 28, 2008 4:21:48 PM PDT
A prisoner who was mistakenly released by the New York State Department of Corrections is back in custody.Thirty-eight-year-old Raul Dejesus turned himself in at about 12:30 this morning to police in Greenwich Village.

He was mistakenly paroled a month ago after finishing a jail stint for another crime.

DeJesus had served just over two years of a three-year sentence for two counts of second-degree attempted burglary when he was released Febraury 25 from Midstate Correctional Facility in central New York, said Erik Kriss, spokesman for the state Department of Correctional Services.

DeJesus was supposed to be turned over to the New York City Department of Corrections because he had a pending court appearance in Manhattan on other burglary charges.

DeJesus confessed to stealing from an apartment inside a brownstone on East 13th Street in the Village and admitted he burblarized another home on East 11th. Each time, he took everything he could carry. But he also left a trail of DNA.

"Sometimes he stays and eats their food and drinks their beverages," defense attorney Brian Konoski said. "And that's how they got the DNA."

Konoski describes DeJesus as a 38-year-old serial burglar who was already incarcerated at a corrections facility in Oneida. He was about to begin serving a separate 10-year sentence he received in a plea deal after confessing to two additional burglaries and admitting to at least five more.

"He was done with that sentence he was serving upstate, but they were ordered not to release him," Konoski said. "But they did anyway."

The New York City Department of Corrections says DeJesus was in city Supreme Court earlier this year, but was then transported back upstate to finish out his sentence.

"We kept tabs on Raul DeJesus while he was in our custody in January," spokesperson Steven Morello said. "We returned him to state custody February 19. They told us today that he was paroled February 25."

The state Department of Corrections could not be reached after business hours Thursday to answer why DeJesus was let go. Konoski said the career burglar probably saw the opportunity and just kept walking.

"I was shocked," he said. "I was just floored. To hear that somebody is released is just completely uncommon. I mean, think about it. He is a burglar and has admitted to numerous burglaries."

In his confessions, DeJesus said he snuck in through the fire escape window and walked past a woman sleeping on the couch. She woke up, started screaming and he ran away before being caught by a police officer on a routine patrol.