18-year-old convicted of burglaries at funerals to serve 2-years on probation

by Seth Doane The 18-year-old convicted of burglarizing homes and families on days after funerals and break-ins in the New York metropolitan area will spend two years of the year before he gets out…

18-year-old convicted of burglaries at funerals to serve 2-years on probation

by Seth Doane

The 18-year-old convicted of burglarizing homes and families on days after funerals and break-ins in the New York metropolitan area will spend two years of the year before he gets out on probation.

William Patterson pleaded guilty in April in New York County Court in Lynbrook to burglary for at least two of the five burglaries in which family homes were burglarized during wakes or funerals.

The Long Island serial burglar admitted stealing jewelry and electronics from the homes of the deceased who’d just died.

Patterson, of Lynbrook, NY, has admitted to the crimes in the weeks after an April burglary where an 85-year-old woman was home alone at the time and nine other burglaries in which he got into at least five homes in Westbury, Melville, Commack, Rockville Centre and Lynbrook. Patterson was already in jail serving a separate six-year sentence after being convicted of a 2015 home invasion.

In all of the cases, Patterson was captured on video surveillance and described by neighbors as a tall, lanky boy who looked to be about 10 years old.

In court on Thursday, Patterson said he has “all along” maintained he did not know any of the family members who’d been targeted and said he was only involved in some of the break-ins.

But Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Patterson did not have family involvement.

Singas said state sentencing guidelines suggest Patterson spend 4-5 years in prison and that she thinks he should do more.

But Patterson had a record that made sentencing much more difficult. His cousin was in prison for a burglary when he was a minor and his mother was jailed on theft and drug charges when he was 8.

Patterson’s attorney, Joseph Suggs, urged that the judge impose probation.

“He’s a very clever young man. He has a very specific strategy to try to not get caught,” Suggs said.

Patterson was already in jail serving a separate six-year sentence when he was arrested, Suggs noted.

“He was arrested before the first conviction,” Suggs said. “For nine burglaries, he would probably get a minimum of eight years.”

Nassau County Court Judge Mark Cohen said he felt Patterson was more mature and at least tried to stay away from the victims on the days before the crimes.

But the judge also said it was clear that in some of the cases Patterson, though on probation, should have been caught.

“I’m going to say this, I’m going to start as a newcomer here,” Cohen said. “The problem with the Nassau County courts is a lot of time on probation is unmonitored.”

Cohen sentenced Patterson to two years in prison without the option of serving it at a less restrictive facility. He said he hoped the time Patterson spent in jail prior to his time behind bars would at least give him a chance to reflect.

Patterson is also to be on probation for six years after he’s released from jail.

Singas said after the court hearing that the sentences were appropriate.

“It took a lot of diligent work on all of our parts to get a sentence that was appropriate,” Singas said. “I hope it also gives him a chance to reflect on what he did, to use his time wisely and to start to work on becoming a better person.”

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