Samuel Sabatino, 82, looks like an average senior citizen, but he is allegedly an elusive career criminal dubbed the “Holiday Bandit," and police say he was recently nabbed after a surveillance camera caught him burglarizing an apartment on New York’s Upper East Side.
Sabatino was allegedly filmed wearing a Puma baseball cap as the suspect searched a bedroom looking for cash and jewelry. Police say he drove up from his home in Florida, paying all the tolls in cash to avoid leaving a record.
He's being called the “Holiday Bandit” because he allegedly goes on burglary sprees over the holidays, like Memorial Day the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, when many New Yorkers are out of town. No one was suspicious as agrey-haired old man in glasses wandered into the lobby and walked right by the doorman of upscale buildings.
Sabatino is accused of burglarizing apartments on Manhattan’s East 79th street, East 68th street and a building on Third Avenue getting away with $400,000. Police say they've had their eye on Sabatino for more than a decade
Sabatino pleaded not guilty and smiled as his attorney turned down a plea deal that would have put him behind bars for more than 20 years.
“Most respectfully, if they can guarantee my client live that long, we might consider it,” his attorney said.