Burgling brothers' 'reign of terror' ends
Published 4:45 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
A pair of New York brothers, one of them a career burglar, were sentenced to a combined 42 years in prison last week for more than two dozen burglaries and a string of home invasions in communities including New Canaan, Greenwich and Ridgefield, as well as in New York.
In sentencing Paul DiBiase, 59, to 27 years in prison, and Daniel DiBiase, 58, to 15 years, Judge Vincent L. Bricetti called the punishment "the end of a reign of terror." Paul DiBiase, along with a third conspirator, Jason Foskey, 36, were the burglars in the spree, while Daniel DiBiase served as getaway driver.
Paul and Daniel DiBiase, both of Poughquag, N.Y., pleaded guilty last summer to racketeering and firearm charges in connection with 27 home invasions, including five at gunpoint, according to a statement by Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Foskey, of Stormville, N.Y., is scheduled to be sentenced before Bricetti on March 19, according to prosecutors.
"The DiBiase brothers committed crimes that involved not only theft but also threatened their victims with gun violence," Bharara said in a statement. "Their cruel actions have earned them time in federal prison."
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The trio are credited with stealing more than $2.5 million in jewelry, silverware and other valuables during a run of break-ins between July 2011 and October 2012.
Paul DiBiase, who was paroled in 2009 for committing a home invasion in New Jersey, set the agenda for the so-called "DiBiase Home Invasion Crew," conducting extensive Internet research, reviewing newspaper and real estate listings, and doing physical surveillance to identify vulnerable homes of the wealthy.
Among the crimes was a gunpoint home invasion of a Ponus Ridge Road home in New Canaan on Aug. 4, 2012, and a break-in of an occupied home in town in 2011.
The FBI credited the contributions of local police in New Canaan, Greenwich and Ridgefield, as well as various Westchester departments, in catching the men.
On Saturday, New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said he was happy with the contributions New Canaan investigators made to catching the men.
Prosecutors said the pair are responsible for 27 home invasions and burglaries in New York and Connecticut during the 11-month stretch.
"I am exceptionally proud of the way in which our officers investigated these crimes and shared information with the FBI, which led to the DiBiases being sentenced to long prison terms," Krolikowski said. "This investigation is a model for inter-jurisdictional law enforcement cooperation, good police work and a commitment to bringing violent offenders to justice."
The group barely eluded arrest after the New Canaan home invasion, according to the details of the Ponus Ridge burglary written in a report by Special Agent Brendan Kenney of the FBI.
According to the report, one of the residents (who is called Witness-2) at the Ponus Ridge Road residence saw two masked intruders in his house on the night of Aug. 4. These men were Paul DiBiase and Foskey, according to the report. Daniel DiBiase acted as the group's getaway driver.
"After a physical struggle, the men put Witness-2 face down on the floor, tied Witness-2's hands, and put the barrel of what felt like a gun to the back of Witness-2's head," according to the report.
The perpetrators then asked where the safe with the jewels and other valuables was.
"The men forced Witness-2 to show them a safe, which was located upstairs," the report states. "At some point, the man guarding Witness-2 said, in sum and substance, `it's the police,' and ran out of the room in which Witness-2 was being held. A short time later, the New Canaan police entered the New Canaan residence."
According to the report, that happened at about 10 p.m. About $14,000 in silverware and $200 in cash were taken, according to New Canaan police.
The report continues, "While Foskey and Paul DiBiase were in the home, the police arrived, whereupon Foskey and DiBiase ran out of the home through a back door and became separated."
In the effort to escape, Foskey was left behind and the DiBiase brothers fled in the getaway car.
The burglars' black Chevy TrailBlazer was spotted leaving the area by another witness, who was driving down Ponus Ridge Road and noticed the police activity, according to the report.
"Foskey spent the night outside in the area of the New Canaan residence and discarded the mask he had worn during the robbery." In the morning, Foskey made a phone call and the other two picked him up, according to the report of his interview with Kenney.
That morning, the resident of the Ponus Ridge House saw a man dressed in all black "appear to duck into bushes to avoid being seen," according to Kenney's report.
All three were arrested by Harrison police on October 17, 2012 during a planned motor vehicle stop when they were pulled over by officers as the group exited Interstate 287. The men had been under observation for more than a month by a special task force of local police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the FBI.
Daniel DiBiase was shot by a Harrison police officer during their apprehension, according to the FBI.
The men fenced their ill-gotten jewels and other valuables for cash through Manhattan's Diamond District or gave them away to relatives, according to authorities.
After the arrest, a police search of the DiBiase home turned up jewelry, BB guns and $21,000 in cash in a safe, and a search of Foskey's home turned up ski masks, a handgun and $57,000 in cash.