Two men who burglarized a pair of Westchester residences and were caught in both instances, forcing them to flee, have been sentenced after being found guilty earlier this year.
Steven Santiago, of Manhattan, and Ivan Bonilla, of the Bronx, were found guilty at trial of two counts of burglary, grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, all felonies. A jury convicted them in less than an hour.
As a persistent violent felon, Santiago was sentenced to a term of 20 years to life for each of the two burglary counts. Bonilla was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for the same charges.
In court on Wednesday, Aug. 7, Sandra Lattanzio, who was one of their victims, spoke about how she felt walking in on the two men ransacking her home looking for valuables.
“Every time I put my key in the door I have a feeling of dread and I relive the whole experience," she said. "I have not felt safe in my home since you violated my space.”
On June 11 last year, Santiago and Bonilla broke into a Halstead Avenue home in Harrison. When the homeowner walked in on the burglary in progress, both men jumped out of a second-story window, with one of them suffering a broken bone. They then traveled to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said that police investigators in Harrison “scoured” town surveillance video and identified the getaway car. They tracked that car to the registered owner, who provided GPS information, which helped identify Bonilla and Santiago as suspects.
Scarpino noted that a similar burglary took place in New Rochelle on May 29 last year inside a Fountain Place apartment. The two entered through the front door but escaped using a rear fire escape when they were caught by the apartment owner. GPS and license plate readers in New Rochelle determined that the two were involved in that burglary as well.
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