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115th Precinct officers arrest career burglar

Guillermo Ortiz, 51, was arrested Jan. 28 in the basement of a home he was attempting to burglarize, according to a criminal complaint by the Queens district attorney's office.Ortiz was arraigned Jan. 29 in Queens Criminal Court on charges of burglary, menacing, possession of burglar's tools and criminal possession of a weapon. His bail was set at $150,000.Ortiz's next court date was scheduled for Feb. 13. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.The incident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. at an apartment near 81st Street and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights. The tenant encountered Ortiz in the rear bedroom and Ortiz flashed a knife and told the tenant "not to do anything," according to the complaint.Ortiz then pushed past the tenant and fled through the front door, the complaint said.A police source said Ortiz has been arrested 45 times for burglary. The district attorney's office could not confirm the number, but said Ortiz is being prosecuted by the DA's career criminals bureau.Online crime statistics through Jan. 27 show burglaries in the 115th Precinct were at similar levels for the month as they were in January 2007, with 32 this year, compared to 34 last year.Burglaries have also been a problem for cops in the 110th Precinct, though police do not believe Ortiz is responsible for those crimes. At a Jan. 16 community council meeting, Deputy Inspector Thomas Pilkington, commander of the 110th, said 14 residences had been hit in the last month in the area around Alstyne Avenue and 102nd Street in Corona."It's someone who lives in the area," he said. "They're watching people leave their residences."Pilkington urged residents to store valuables in a safe or lock box, and asked residents to call police if they see something suspicious."We're not getting a lot of arrests because we're not getting 911 calls," he said.Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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