A jury has convicted a Long Beach man of burglary after he broke into two West End homes that were part of a broader spree in September in 2010.
Joseph Moss, 42, was found guilty on two counts of second-degree burglary Wednesday, and due to his status as a mandatory violent predicate offender from multiple previous burglary convictions and a prior robbery conviction, Moss faces up to 25 years to life in prison at his May 1 sentencing, according to the Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
“This defendant’s inability to live within the confines of the law made this conviction inevitable, and his criminal history guarantees that he will spend decades behind bars,” Rice said in a statement.
According to Rice, sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2010, and 1:15 p.m. the following day, Moss broke into a Maryland Avenue home and stole several pieces of heirloom and Tiffany jewelry. Moss left behind a filtered cigarette butt in the kitchen and a black sock by the front door, as well as a set of keys. The stolen jewelry was never recovered.
Also on Sept. 22, 2010, Moss broke into a Kentucky Street home and stole multiple pieces of jewelry, including a college ring and a college national championship ring. Moss sold the rings, which had the victim’s name engraved on them, to a Brooklyn pawn shop.
The New York Police Department, which conducts routine checks of pawn shops, became suspicious when they saw the collegiate rings at the Brooklyn shop two weeks later and contacted the college, which in turn reached out to the victim. The victim then contacted the Long Beach Police Department. DNA evidence taken off the cigarette butt and sock from the first burglary and from a collared shirt left behind at the scene of the second burglary matched Moss’s sample in the statewide DNA database. The set of keys left behind matched the address listed as Moss’s Indiana Avenue home.
LBPD public information officer Bruce Meyer told Patch in 2010 that Moss became a person of interest to police early in the investigation, which took the LBPD's street crimes unit throughout Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn and Pennsylvania. With the assistance of the NYPD, police located Moss on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 58th Street in Brooklyn on Oct. 27.
"We suspected he may have known that he was a person of interest because we distributed flyers throughout the West End," Det. Lt. James Canner said in 2010 about the investigation into the September burglary spree that had West End residents on edge.
The jury on Wednesday acquitted Moss of one count of second-degree burglary.