A Brentwood teenager has admitted to targeting elderly men in a string of Queens burglaries last fall after he and two other suspects duped the victims into letting them into their homes.

Justin Frank pleaded guilty Thursday at Queens county court to burglary as a hate crime.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that the 18-year-old “shamefully targeted his victims because their advanced age and frailties made them easy targets.”

Prosecutors said Frank and the other suspects who have yet to be apprehended tricked a 91-year-old man into letting them into his Flushing home, then threatened to kill him and forced him into his basement before stealing his cash, cell phone and eyeglasses on Aug. 28, 2012.

Two hours later, Frank and the others allegedly told a 92-year-old Woodside man that they were from the water company and needed to check a broken pipe and then forced their way into the victim’s living room, pushed him onto the floor and stole money, authorities said.

Minutes after that, the suspects allegedly knocked on the door of a 77-year-old man’s home, asked for a glass of water and stole money from the victim’s wallet, which had been left on a table, according to prosecutors.

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Judge Barry Kron is expected to sentence Frank to six years in prison and five years’ post release supervision on June 7.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.