A Bronx man is facing more than two decades in prison in connection with a nine-month pickpocketing spree that targeted unsuspecting shoppers throughout western, northern and central Queens.
Walter Del Rosario, 49, was charged with eight counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and six counts of petit larceny last Wednesday, July 23, a day after his arrest for allegedly stealing from seven victims in Flushing, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Forest Hills and Woodside shops.
If convicted on all counts, Del Rosario faces up to 22 years in prison.
According to a press release from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the Bronx native started his crime spree on Aug. 26, 2013 in Rego Park, when he allegedly stole a 34-year-old woman’s cell phone out of her purse as he opened the door to Panera Bread at 61-35 Junction Blvd. for her.
Del Rosario allegedly struck again inside Target at 88-01 Queens Blvd. on Oct. 13. According to the release, he snatched a 35-year-old woman’s cell phone and wallet, containing $380 in cash as well as a credit card, from the stroller she was pushing.
On Nov. 6 and Dec. 14, he allegedly stole the cell phones of 25- and 19-year-old women inside Sports Lane at 96-54 Queens Blvd. and Love Culture at 90-15 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.
On April 1, 2014, Del Rosario allegedly stole a 35-year-old man’s cell phone he was charging in another room while he worked out at New York Sports Club at 69-47 Austin St. in Forest Hills.
On April 18, he allegedly snatched a 42-year-old woman’s wallet, containing two credit cards, a debit card and $90 in cash she briefly left unattended at 40-10 Main St. in Flushing.
Lastly, Del Rosario allegedly nabbed a 39-year-old woman’s cell phone from her table at Lucid Cafe at 59-02 Woodside Ave. in Woodside on May 17.
A spokesman for the DA’s office was not sure of where Del Rosario was arrested.