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Trenton Man Convicted for Role in Home Burglary, Robbery Ring

August 25, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Antonetta Stancu, 215.348.6340, astancu@buckscounty.org

Oliver Cabrera
       Oliver Cabrera

A Trenton man who helped burglarize five unoccupied Bucks County houses before robbing and assaulting an elderly couple in their home was convicted this afternoon of all 30 charges against him.

A Bucks County Common Pleas Court jury deliberated less than one hour before convicting Oliver Cabrera of corrupt organizations, conspiracy, and multiple counts of robbery, burglary, simple assault, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief.

Cabrera, 26, was part of a New Jersey-based burglary and robbery ring that struck 18 homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2012. Six of those crimes occurred in Bucks County, Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu told the jury, and Cabrera took part each time.

“Six times they forced their way into people’s homes and people’s lives,” Stancu said in her closing argument.

Calling Cabrera “a menace to this community,” Judge Diane E. Gibbons ordered the defendant’s bail revoked until he can be sentenced. Cabrera had been in custody prior to the trial in lieu of bail.

No sentencing date was immediately set.

Cabrera’s crimes included five residential burglaries and one home-invasion robbery from late July to mid-September 2012 in Lower Makefield, Middletown and Upper Makefield Townships.

The burglaries typically consisted of forcing entry while no one was home, ransacking the house and stealing jewelry, guns, computers, cash, and, in one case, a Lexus automobile. Three of the families suffered losses exceeding $19,000 each.

The group’s final crime in Bucks County was its most violent. On Sept. 10, 2012, Cabrera was among three men who forced their way into an occupied Middletown home when a 78-year-old woman answered the doorbell around 9 p.m.

Wearing masks and gloves, the men – two of them carrying guns – pushed the woman to the floor, covered her face with pillows and bound her hands so tightly with zip ties that they bled and turned blue. One man removed the woman’s engagement ring from her hand before the group set upon her 79-year-old husband.

The men pointed guns at the elderly man’s head, zip-tied his hands until they bled, forced him to walk through the house showing them where he had hidden cash, and hit him in the face. After more than a half-hour of ransacking the couple’s house, the men left with jewelry and cash. The couple’s losses totaled $24,570.

The husband, now 84, returned to court this week to testify against Cabrera.

Defense attorney Sharif Abaza argued that the case against Cabrera was based largely on the testimony of three other participants in the ring, calling them “three men who had self-preservation as their primary goals.”

Each of the witnesses, Abaza argued, had reason to color their words in favor of the prosecution. Each, he said, either expected or had already received more favorable treatment as a result of their cooperation.

Stancu countered that those witnesses were supplemented by 16 other witnesses and an overwhelming amount of other corroborative evidence. Some of the defendants, she said, were arrested by police while fleeing from one of the burglaries, the stolen goods still in their vehicle.

“These men are violent. These men are greedy. These men are selfish,” Stancu told the jury. As a group, she said, they left each victimized family “stripped of their safety, their security, their dignity.”

Two of Cabrera’s co-defendants have already received sentences of seven and one-half to 15 years in state prison. A fourth man charged in Bucks County is still awaiting trial.

The case was investigated by the Lower Makefield, Middletown and Upper Makefield Township Police Departments.

Approved for release by Christopher W. Rees, Deputy District Attorney.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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