Defendants Steven Santiago, 31, of Manhattan and Ivan Bonilla, 31, of the Bronx were sentenced to prison following a jury trial for breaking into homes in Harrison and New Rochelle. Westchester County Court Judge David Zuckerman presided.
They were found guilty on four charges each by a jury in May to two counts of Burglary in the Second Degree, class C violent felonies, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony and Attempted Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
Santiago, as a persistent violent felon, was given 20 years to life for each of the two burglary counts. The sentences will run concurrently. Sentences for the two lesser charges also will be served concurrently.
Bonilla was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for each of the two burglaries to run consecutively. Sentences for the two lesser charges will be served concurrently.
In court, the victim of the Harrison break-in, Sandra Lattanzio, read a powerful statement that reflected the impact the crime had on her after she walked in on the men ransacking her home. “Every time I put my key in the door I have a feeling of dread and I relive the whole experience. I have not felt safe in my home since you violated my space.”
On June 11, 2018, Santiago and Bonilla broke into an apartment on Halstead Avenue in Harrison. The homeowner walked in on the burglary in progress and both burglars jumped out of a second-floor window. One defendant suffered a broken bone and both traveled to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. Harrison Police scoured town surveillance video and immediately identified the getaway car. This information led them to the registered owner who provided GPS information to this car. The GPS information, along with surveillance video and DNA evidence both at the scene and at St. Barnabas Hospital, helped identify these defendants.
A similar burglary took place in New Rochelle May 29, 2018, inside an apartment at 39 Fountain Place. The defendants entered through the front door but escaped using a rear fire escape where they were observed by an apartment dweller. GPS and license plate readers (LPR) in the City of New Rochelle corroborated the defendants’ involvement in this second residential burglary.
Detectives with Harrison Police led the investigations leading to the arrest and prosecution of these two defendants.