A 27-year-old New Jersey man who aided in a burglary spree that struck Upper Makefield and involved the home invasion-style robbery of an elderly couple was sentenced to state prison Tuesday.
According to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Oliver Cabrera, 27, of Trenton, was sentenced to roughly 13 to 26 years in a state correctional facility and 20 years of consecutive probation. His Pennsylvania sentence will begin once he finishes time in prison for similar crimes in New Jersey.
“Cabrera was part of a New Jersey-based burglary and robbery ring that struck 18 homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2012,” a statement from the district attorney’s office said.
Five residential burglaries and the one home invasion-style robbery happened between July and mid-September 2012 in Lower Makefield, Middletown and Upper Makefield Townships.
Prosecutors said the burglary ring’s final crime was its most violent. On September 10, 2012, Cabrera was among three men who forced their way into an occupied Middletown home on Fite Terrace when a 78-year-old woman answered the doorbell around 9 p.m.
Wearing masks and gloves, the men – two of the men carrying guns – pushed the elderly 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 then-79-year-old husband. The men then pointed guns at the 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, testified against Cabrera in August.
The five burglaries involved breaking into homes while the residents were not home and stealing jewelry, guns, computers and cash. In one incident, the burglars took a Lexus.
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.
“You could have, and should have, walked away,” county Judge Diane Gibbons told Cabrera, stating she didn’t understand how he could watch the victims in the home invasion suffer.
Prosecutors said Cabrera’s co-defendants have already received sentences of seven and one-half to 15 years in state prison. A fourth defendant charged in the spree is still awaiting trial.
The three defendants who have been convicted have been ordered to pay a total of $84,136.96 in restitution.