FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 10, 2023
Brooklyn Men Arraigned on Indictment Charging Them
With Six Burglaries of Homes and Businesses in Bensonhurst
Allegedly Stole More than $150,000 Worth of Jewelry and Cash
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York City Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban today announced that two Brooklyn men have been arraigned on an indictment for allegedly committing a string of six burglaries in Bensonhurst between August 2022 and January 2023. Of the burglaries, two were of private dwellings and four were local stores.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants are allegedly professional burglars whose crime spree violated the sanctity of local homeowners and businesses in the Bensonhurst community, and we will now seek to hold them accountable. 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.”
NYPD Commissioner Caban said, “Today’s indictment is the result of determined police work at the precinct level coupled with relentless follow-up by NYPD investigators and our colleagues in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. And because no community should ever be plagued by alleged career criminals victimizing hardworking people where they live and work, the men and women of the NYPD will keep working hand-in-hand with all of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that New Yorkers are safe – and feel safe, too.”
The District Attorney identified the defendants as Sam Kravchenko, 36, of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and John Catullo, 55, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. They were arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo on a 74-count indictment in which they are variously charged with fourth-, fifth- and sixth-degree conspiracy, second- and third-degree burglary, third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, third-, fourth- and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglars’ tools, trespass and related charges. They were ordered held without bail and to return to court on September 20, 2023.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendants were charged in connection with the following incidents:
The defendant and his co-defendants were named in a 2018 indictment in which they were variously charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to possess weapons, and other charges in connection with eight separate shootings, including two fatalities.
- On August 8, 2022, the defendants allegedly burglarized a private home on West 12th Street in Gravesend and stole two Rolex watches, a Cartier gold watch, a gold necklace with a diamond cross, a gold bracelet, a diamond bracelet, and diamond earrings.
- On September 6, 2022, the defendants allegedly burglarized a grocery store on 17th Avenue in Bensonhurst, stealing a safe containing approximately $15,000 cash as well as a cash register containing petty cash.
- On October 6, 2022, the defendants allegedly burglarized a grocery store located on Bath Avenue in Bath Beach and stole a security box containing approximately $10,000 cash and a cash register containing petty cash.
- On October 6, 2022, the defendants allegedly burglarized a grocery store located on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst and stole a security box containing approximately $10,000 cash and a cash register containing petty cash.
- On November 13, 2022, the defendants allegedly burglarized a vape shop located on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst and stole approximately $38,211 worth of merchandise.
- On January 18, 2023, the defendants allegedly burglarized a private home located on 76th Street in Bensonhurst and stole approximately $7,000 cash, two Rolexes, a Cartier bracelet, a necklace and matching earring set, and a gold necklace.
Defendant Kravchenko was arrested on January 26, 2023, after a car stop for failure to signal. He was allegedly driving with a suspended license, and police allegedly recovered 39 Oxycodone pills in his vehicle along with two police scanners. Upon further investigation using cell phone sites, enhanced video and other evidence, the defendants were linked to the burglaries.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Officer Nicholas Occhipinti, Sergeant James Sinnott and Detective Anthony Brucato, all of the 62nd Precinct.
The District Attorney thanked Intelligence Analyst Fatima Shaik and Unit Chief Jingu Chong, of the District Attorney’s Digital Evidence Lab and Jannette Lukowsky, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Law Enforcement Assistance Unit, for their work on the case.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Joseph Duarte, of the District Attorney’s Orange Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Trabulsi and Assistant District Attorney Iris Das, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Danielle Eaddy, Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt