Two men from Brooklyn have been indicted for a string of burglaries, leading to more than $150,000 worth of cash and valuable possessions stolen from homes and businesses in Bensonhurst.
Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York City Police Commissioner Edward Caban announced the arraignment of the defendants — Sam Kravchenko, 36, from Coney Island, and John Catullo, 55, from Bensonhurst — before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo.
“These defendants are allegedly professional burglars whose crime spree violated the sanctity of local home- owners and businesses in the Benson- hurst community, and we will now seek to hold them accountable,” said Gonzalez, who attended John Dewey High School not far from the burglaries.
“Together with the NYPD, we have been focusing enforcement efforts on alleged repeat offenders, leading to a double-digit percentage decline in Brooklyn burglaries so far this year,” Gonzalez continued.
According to the indictment, the accused duo were involved in a total of six burglaries between August 2022 and January 2023. Two of the burglaries took place in private homes, while the other four targeted local businesses.
The first incident occurred on Aug. 8, 2022, where the defendants allegedly infiltrated a private home on West 12th Street in Gravesend. The home, usually filled with joy and laughter, was silently violated and left devoid of its treasured possessions: two Rolex watches, a Cartier gold watch, a gold necklace featuring a diamond cross, a gold bracelet, a diamond bracelet and diamond earrings.
Just a month later, on Sept. 6, the defendants purportedly turned their attention to a grocery store on 17th Avenue in Bensonhurst. The normally bustling shop was stripped of a safe containing approximately $15,000 in cash and a cash register with petty cash.
They then allegedly targeted another grocery store on Bath Avenue in Bath Beach on Oct. 6, making off with a security box brimming with about $10,000 cash and the contents of another cash register. That same day, another grocery store on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst was allegedly left bereft of a similar amount of cash.
On Nov. 13, 2022, the defendants seemingly expanded their range, purportedly breaking into a vape shop on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst and making away with approximately $38,211 worth of merchandise.
The final alleged burglary occurred on Jan. 18, 2023, where the pair reportedly looted another private home on 76th Street in Bensonhurst. The serene residence was left void of approximately $7,000 in cash, two Rolex watches, a Cartier bracelet, a necklace and matching earring set, and a gold necklace.
It was not until Jan. 26, 2023, that Kravchenko was arrested following a routine traffic stop for failure to signal. The simple traffic stop led to the un- raveling of a far more nefarious situation. In addition to driving with a suspended license, Kravchenko was found with 39 Oxycodone pills in his vehicle, along with two police scanners. After an investigation using cell phone site analysis, enhanced video footage, and other compelling evidence, both defendants were linked to the burglaries.