Brooklyn man gets eight years for burglary at historic Gargiulo’s Restaurant


A Brooklyn man, Luis Mercado, 34, has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to grand larceny and bail jumping, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Tuesday.

The sentencing follows a high-profile case involving the theft of approximately $100,000 from Gargiulo’s Restaurant, a Coney Island institution and popular meeting spot for the Columbian Lawyers Association.

The crime, which took place on June 29, 2022, involved Mercado and an accomplice who were caught on camera break- ing into the restaurant’s safe. The burglary, executed around 2 a.m., triggered an alarm

and was captured in detail on surveillance footage. The video showed both individuals dressed in black and wearing blue surgical masks, fleeing the scene with the stolen cash.

Following an extensive investigation aided by video surveillance from various locations, detectives from the NYPD’s 60th Precinct were able to track the movements of Mercado and his accomplice from Mercado’s residence at 2760 West 33rd Street back to the scene of the crime. This evidence was crucial in identifying Mercado, who was seen removing his mask in an elevator, revealing his identity.

Mercado was initially arrested on July 6, 2022, but after failing to appear for his court date in August 2023, he was rearrested following another alleged crime on the Lower East Side. This led to additional charges of second-degree bail jumping. In court, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Joanne Quinones sentenced Mercado to two concurrent terms.

“Beyond breaking into Gargiulo’s, a beloved Coney Island landmark for more than a century, this defendant is a serial burglar who has shown that he will continue to commit crimes if he remains at large, necessitating today’s prison sentence,” District Attorney Gonzalez said. “My Office is committed to protecting the property of everyone in Brooklyn and to holding offenders to account.”

The prosecution of the case was handled by Senior Assistant District Attorney Danyelle Shapiro and Assistant District Attorney Adam Ghalmi, of the Green Zone Trial Bureau.

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