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Serial Burglar Brought to Justice


07/22/2014

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 24 year-old Javel Lugo, of Breckenridge Avenue in the City of Buffalo, pleaded guilty as charged to four counts of Burglary in the Second Degree and two counts of Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree before Acting State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski.  These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial.  In other words, Lugo did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

Lugo’s convictions stem from a series of nighttime residential burglaries in North Buffalo, most of them occurring in the early morning hours of May 14, 2014.  Specifically, Lugo burglarized two homes--one on Wilbury Place and one on Stratford Road--stealing personal items such as laptop computers and cell phones, after entering through unlocked doors or windows while the residents slept.  That same night, the defendant also attempted to enter two other residences in the neighborhood by cutting bedroom window screens, but was thwarted before he could make entry when he was scared off by vigilant homeowners.

Lugo fled to a 7-Eleven convenience store located at 2058 Delaware Avenue, where he was promptly arrested by Buffalo Police Officer Karin Franco after she observed him counting a large amount of U.S. currency and taking inventory of the stolen property on the front counter, in full view of the cashier and other customers, leading one veteran courtroom observer to note, “it appears that Lugo’s swiftness did not extend beyond his feet.”

Subsequent to his arrest, Lugo was linked to unsolved North Buffalo burglaries occurring in 2011 and 2013. In those cases, Lugo entered residences at night, while the homeowners slept, and stole personal property. Although had made off with the personal property of his victims, he also had left something behind: his DNA.        

Lugo, who was remanded into custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum prison term of 74 years when he is sentenced before Justice Michalski on September 5, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael Smith, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.