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Two Great Neck men among three alleged 'smash-and-grab' jewel thieves

June 25, 2015
The Island Now


Bill San Antonio

A Brooklyn man and two alleged co-conspirators from Great Neck are in police custody in connection with a string of “smash-and-grab” burglaries that took place at Nassau County businesses over the last six months, including several jewelry stores from which more than $200,000 in merchandise was stolen, county prosecutors said.

Joseph Borelli, 42, of Brooklyn and brothers Rotem Balila, 25, and Edan Balila, 27, both of Great Neck, face various burglary-related charges for their alleged involvement in at least nine overnight incidents since the start of 2015, prosecutors said.

The three defendants were represented by Legal Aid at their respective arraignments.

Prosecutors said the burglaries took place at several North Shore businesses, including Cookshop Deli in Great Neck, where approximately $500 in cash and lottery tickets was stolen on Jan. 10; Loucri Jewelers in Greenvale, where about $75,000 in jewelry was stolen on Jan. 31; Westbury Jewelry Exchange in New Cassel, where about $100,000 in jewelry was stolen on Feb. 28; Bagelman of Great Neck, where about $200 was stolen.

Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas in a statement said Borelli, the main defendant in the case, and the Balilas are also being investigated for other commercial burglaries in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, including one at Herricks Jewelers in Garden City Park on April 15.

“We are lucky that no one was hurt in these overnight smash-and-grab burglaries and we will continue our close partnership with the Nassau County Police Department on this case to make sure that we deliver justice for the hardworking victims,” Singas said.

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the D.A.'s office, said the three men are not considered suspects in a series of residential burglaries that took place in parts of New Hyde Park and Manhasset in the last two years.

Borelli, who was arrested on June 19 and charged with nine felony counts of 3rd degree burglary and nine felony counts of 3rd degree criminal mischief, faces up to seven years in prison on each to; count. He was arraigned June 20 and his bail was set at $450,000 cash or bond. He is due back in court on July 2.

Rotem Balila was arrested June 23 and charged with June 23 and charged with single 3rd degree felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, burglary and criminal mischief for allegedly acting as a lookout for Borelli during an April 15 burglary, prosecutors said.

Edan Balila was arrested June 24 and charged with felony counts of burglary, criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property, as well as a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of stolen property.

Rotem and Edan Balila were each arraigned Wednesday. Rotem’s bail was set at $200,000 bond or $75,000 cash, while Edan Balila’s bail was set at $42,000 bond or $21,000 cash.
Rotem Balila faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the top charge, while Edan Balila faces up to seven years on his top count.