Brentwood Teen Accused of Hate Crimes Against Elderly

A Brentwood teenager has been indicted on hate crimes charges of stealing from three elderly Queens men that he allegedly targeted because of their age last summer.

Justin Frank was charged with burglary as a hate crime and robbery as a hate crime, among other charges in the 18-count indictment. The 18-year-old is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Queens court.

“In just one day, the defendant is alleged to have participated in three burglaries in which the victims were targeted because of their ages,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who previously charged two Long Island men with conning elderly New York City residents as a hate crime.

Prosecutors said Frank and several 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.

Queens Judge Joseph Zayas ordered Frank held on $250,000 bail. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted and is due back in court April 17.