Career criminal arrested for allegedly committing 200 high-end apartment break-ins
A career criminal from Dorchester who allegedly committed about 200 high-end apartment break-ins over the past several months was arrested Monday at a Framingham motel with items from his latest haul, police said.
Fitzgerald said Cromartie has more than 300 prior arraignments on his record for theft-related charges.
He said Florin Ghita, 62, of Weymouth has also been arrested for allegedly buying some of the stolen merchandise at his space in a jewelry warehouse at 333 Washington St. in Boston.
Police said more people may be involved in the alleged ring and the investigation is ongoing.
Authorities said Needham police first identified Cromartie as a suspect in a break-in there about a month ago, because of the unique way the theft was carried out.
Needham Police Detective Joe O’Brien said Cromartie would typically enter the mailroom of a high-end apartment building and look for stacked-up mail, which would indicate which residents were away on vacation.
“He was as experienced at this as I am at my job,” O’Brien said.
Police said officers in several communities had been tailing Cromartie for weeks and waited to arrest him until they had enough evidence to support criminal charges.
Police today displayed some of the allegedly stolen merchandise — including purses, jewelry and fur coats — seized from Cromartie’s home.
Authorities said he hit virtually every part of the state and that he focused especially on Brookline and Brighton.