2001-02-10 / Front Page

Two Seniors Victimized

Two Seniors Victimized

Home Invasion On B. 47

By Joan Ward George

Sherman Baker has been arrested for a home invasion, including robbery and burglary causing physical injury, that occurred last Thursday afternoon on Beach 47 street.

Eighty year old Raymonda Vitogliano was roughed up and robbed in her Far Rockaway home last Thursday, February 1, by two thugs who barged their way into her apartment just minutes after her husband and daughter had left the premises.

Mrs. Vitogliano told police that after her husband and daughter left the apartment she heard a bang at the back door while she was in the second floor bedroom. She immediately heard her assailants coming up the stairs. According to police, two male blacks then entered her room. One allegedly hit her about the face while the other tied her hands with a black scarf, leaving her on the bed. One of the perps was seen pulling the phone out of the wall, the other attempting to remove the television set. Both fled the scene and Mrs. Vitogliano was able to free herself within moments and alert police to the robbery.

A neighbor saw the two men fleeing the building with their loot and stopped them to ask what they were doing. According to police, the perps told the witness that they were helping some "old lady" move. Knowing that was probably not the case, the 75 year old female witness attempted to stop them from fleeing. One of the perps reportedly grabbed her arm and the other stole her purse. During the scuffle she was able to hit one of her assailants with her cane, and she watched as they ran into a house just a few doors away from the incident that occurred at 425 Beach 47 street.

Detective Henson of the 101 Precinct squad responded to the scene and checked out a residence located at 441 Beach 47 street. There, at the apartment of Sylistic Johson, 28, Henson observed a television and VCR in plain view on the floor. Both items were identified to belong to the Vitogliano family, verified by serial numbers. Johson was placed under arrest and charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

The following day, February 2, Detective Henson arrested Sherman Baker of 51-32 Beach Channel drive. He was immediately charged with robbery and burglary causing physical injury.

During the course of the investigation, the second victim’s handbag was recovered in a vacant lot on Beach 47 street. Baker, who was also being sought on three outstanding warrants, was transported to Queens Central Booking and incarcerated.

According to the Queens District Attorney’s office, Johson has been officially charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Johson told detectives that the property found in his apartment was left there by a friend who asked him to hold onto everything. He is expected to appear in court to answer to this charge on February 20. He was not charged with burglary, or robbery, or any physical assault on either of the elderly victims.

The district attorney’s office also reported that Baker was charged with burglary and robbery. His bail was set at $25,000, and he remained in custody as The Wave went to press Thursday. Baker is also expected to make his next court appearance on February 20.

According to Detective Henson, the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Henson at the 100 Precinct squad at 718-868-3429.

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