Rockaway Home Invader Gets 34 Years in the Big House

By Jonathan Sperling

A Far Rockaway thief has a long time to reflect on the string of home invasions that led to his arrest — 34 years to be exact.

Timothy West was sentenced Monday to 34 years to life in prison for a three-month burglary spree in the beachfront community.

West, a resident of Beach 38th Street, stole a slew of valuables from at least four houses on Dickens Street and Ocean Crest during a spree that spanned from November 2016 to January 2017, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

“The defendant in this case sought to enrich himself by stealing from others,” Brown said. “He not only stole the victims’ property, he also violated the safety and sanctity of their homes by breaking in and rummaging through their most personal belongings looking for things of value. Under the circumstances the sentence imposed by the court is more than warranted.”

In each case, West, 34, gained access to the home by either breaking a rear window or using a lockpick. Once inside, he snatched jewelry, a fur coat, laptops, a girl’s purple bicycle and other valuables, according to court records. At one residence, West stole video games, electric shavers and a suitcase containing a movie projector.

West’s spree came to a halt on Jan. 24, 2017, when he sold earrings from one burglary and the necklace from another burglary to the same pawnshop, where he also used identification with his real name on it when trading the jewelry for cash. During trial testimony, West identified himself on a video surveillance tape recorded at the pawn shop.

After being identified via surveillance video and pawn shop records, authorities with the NYPD’s 101st Precinct—which covers Far Rockaway and Bayswater— obtained a court-authorized search warrant on West’s residence. There, cops recovered items from a total of seven separate home break-ins that took place in Far Rockaway between Nov. 27, 2016 and Jan. 19, 2017.

West was convicted of second-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, petit larceny, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and possession of an unlawful imitation pistol.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Selkowe, of Brown’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys James W. Evangelou, Bureau Chief, Jennifer L. Naiburg, Deputy Bureau Chief, Michael Whitney, Section Chief and under the overall supervision of Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Trials James C. Quinn and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Trials Laura M. Henigman.