Rooftop Burglar Strikes Again, Cuts Hole in Supermarket Ceiling

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014  |  Updated 10:05 AM EDT
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Police are searching for a burglar wanted in a string of store burglaries in which he enters through a roof or air conditioner vent in Jamaica, Queens. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Police are searching for a burglar wanted in a string of store burglaries in which he enters through a roof or air conditioner vent in Jamaica, Queens. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Police are searching for a serial burglar who's been breaking into stores and supermarkets in Queens through the roof or air conditioner vent. 

Surveillance video captured the thief in the most recent burglary at Pioneer Supermarket on Jamaica Avenue at about 11 p.m. last Thursday. The suspect stole $1,000 in cash and $600 worth of phone cards, police say. 

"He knew exactly what he had to do here," said supermarket manager Danny Rivas. 

Rivas said the burglar climbed on top of a garbage compactor at the back of the building and cut through the ceiling to get into the supermarket. Rivas believes the suspect knew he'd be able to use a ladder inside to climb down from the ceiling. 

"They know I have a few ladders, small and big ones, for using here," he said. 

The thief is wanted in six other similar burglaries in Jamaica. In each case he has stolen cash from the registers -- frequently between $1,000 to $5,000 -- and taken phone cards and lottery tickets, according to police. 

The break-ins all took place when the supermarkets and discount stores were closed, typically between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

In January, the owner of one of the stores actually witnessed the burglary through the store's surveillance video feed that he was watching on his cellphone. 

"I was 10 minutes away, but when I come, they run," said store owner Nizam Uddin.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

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