Newark, N.Y. --- For three weeks Newark Village Police were hunting a burglary suspect and waiting for a break that would close the mounting caseload.
On Tuesday that break came in the form of an alert victim whose text messages prompted her mother to call 9-1-1 while she hid from the burglar who was breaking into her home.
"The doorbell was non-stop ringing which seemed weird at first I wasn't expecting anyone to come over,” said the 20 year-old woman who is hiding her identity for safety reasons. “And then the back doorbell starts ringing the same and then before I know it the back door is getting kicked in."
This was around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday while the young woman’s parents were away at work. Police believe the crime this victim describes closely matches a very consistent pattern this suspect used in more than a dozen recent daytime break-ins.
"I was just still hiding quietly and then he opened the guest room door and I knew it was only a matter of time before he opened my bedroom door,” the victim recalled. “And so when he did I instantly just jumped up and yelled get out of the house."
Her mom’s 9-1-1 call resulted in police arriving shortly after the victim chased the suspect from the home. Mark Ortiz Sr., 35, of Union Street in Newark, was apprehended in a nearby cemetery a short while later. He’s charged with multiple counts of Burglary, Criminal Mischief, and Petit Larceny.
"He has confessed to it and we've tied him into several of the 13 burglaries so far," Newark Village Police Chief David Christler said of Ortiz Sr. "The individual who was arrested for this is certainly dependent on drugs and was spending huge amounts of money everyday just to support his habit."
The break-ins occurred throughout the village leaving few if any neighborhoods immune to the burglar’s crime spree.
"It was devastating actually when we came in, my grandson he was crying and upset and then when I went upstairs and saw everything gone I started crying because it is just somebody different in your house that's not supposed to be there,” said another victim whose home was targeted two weeks ago.
"I am so grateful that she was home and I'm grateful that she did not get hurt,” this victim said of the Tuesday’s young but quick-thinking victim. “For her to be home and he broke in there, that's what ended it. So I'm glad that's happened but I'm so glad she did not get hurt and I'm glad it's over with.”
While many valuables were recovered Chief Christler said many more were pawned at shops in Williamson and Rochester.
Police state that Ortiz Sr. has prior convictions for Robbery and Burglary and remains in Wayne County Jail without bail.