AN UN-FORTUNE-ATE LIVELIHOOD LEADS MAN TO JAIL

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe today announced that Winifred Fortune (DOB 05/29/73) of 7 Janet Drive, New Hempstead, New York was convicted after a jury trial of:

Six counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, class ”E” Felonies

One count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, a class “A” Misdemeanor

In February, 2011, detectives with the Ramapo Police Department were investigating a rash of car larcenies in Hillcrest, Monsey and other parts of the town. The spate of break-in’s involved 75 to 100 parked vehicles over several months. An undercover town police unit assigned to patrol for suspects in connection with the larcenies first had contact with Fortune on February 11, 2011 in New Hempstead. At that time, the defendant was wearing dark clothing with two pair of gloves; a pair of winter gloves and a pair of latex, surgical gloves. The defendant was not found in possession of stolen property and was allowed to leave.

During a subsequent police interview on February 14, 2011, the defendant consented to a search of his apartment. The search of Fortune’s bedroom uncovered several cell phones, GPS Units, and radar detectors. A deeper search of the premises revealed a black case containing more than ten additional GPS Units, ten cell phones, ten radar detectors, ten pairs of ear buds and other items consistent with those reported missing from the recent car larcenies.

Also present in the defendant’s room were burglars’ tools, including tin snips, wire cutters, pliers, screwdrivers and broken chips of porcelain, used to shatter car windows. Also found in Fortune’s bedroom were four stolen credit cards and two stolen debit cards. The defendant was arrested as a suspect in at least 40 separate car larcenies. Fortune’s began on January 25, 2012. Jurors deciding the case in the courtroom of Rockland County Court Judge Victor Alfieri returned a verdict of guilty on Tuesday following approximately 45 minutes of deliberations.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 13, 2012.

He faces a possible state prison sentence of four years, plus restitution to the victims. This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jason Rosenwasser.