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Corona suspect arrested in 15-month rob spree

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Two men from Corona and Long Island man allegedly went on a crime spree in 2010 and 2011 and were arraigned last Thursday on charges of stealing state Lottery tickets as well as thousands of dollars in cash tickets from stores throughout Queens and Brooklyn, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Diego Ercoli, 38, of 95th Street and Elmhurst Avenue, and David Arroyo, 38, of North Park Avenue near Quealy Place in North Babylon, L.I., could each face up to 49 years in prison if found guilty, the DA said.

“Small business owners — like everyone else — are struggling during the economic downturn and don’t need to worry about losing revenue while awaiting repair of broken locks and windows,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “The defendants must be held accountable for their actions.”

Ercoli and Arroyo are alleged to have broken into seven different businesses between December 2010 and March 2011, including one in Astoria and two others in South Ozone Park, the DA said. The men were arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho, the DA said.

The indictment charges them with seven counts of burglary, six counts of criminal mischief, four counts of criminal possession of stolen property and one count of possession of a burglar’s tools, the DA said.

The office had substantial information about a burglary the men allegedly committed at 99 Cent Collection Inc., at 25-71 Steinway St. in Astoria. Between 9:50 p.m. Jan. 18 and 10:30 a.m. Jan. 19, Ercoli and Arroyo allegedly stole $7,850 worth of state Lottery tickets, among other items, the DA said. They also allegedly hit Temal 99 Cent & Up, at 132-07 120th Ave., and K&B Live Poultry, at 127-15 Rockaway Blvd., the DA said. Both stores are in Ozone Park.

In Brooklyn stores the pair was charged with hitting Elf Day Care, Wins Cafe, Henry’s Deli and the delicatessen Ukrania, the DA said. The men are accused of stealing $4,000 from Elf Day Care, the DA said.

Since their arrest, Ercoli has been held in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail and Arroyo has been held in lieu of $30,000 bail, the DA said.

The 114th Precinct, which includes Astoria, had 213 burglaries as of July 10 this year, according to police statistics. The 106th Precinct, which includes South Ozone Park, had 145 burglaries as of the same date this year, the NYPD reported.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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