Jan. 2, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A man who allegedly ran a Queens-wide scheme stealing toilet parts from fast food restaurants, including franchises in Ridgewood and Middle Village, is now facing a string of burglary charges after he was arrested days ago.
Richard Mirabile, a 44-year-old from Congers, was arraigned on Dec. 28 and charged with criminal mischief, burglary and more for stealing toilet flush fixtures from eight fast food restaurants over a series of weeks beginning in late November.
Mirabile, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, was seen either by an individual or on video surveillance making a beeline for the restrooms in Ridgewood, Middle Village and Astoria fast food locales, among other places.
Working quickly, he would emerge just minutes later with a bag allegedly filled with toilet flush fixtures, valued at approximately $250 a piece.
Mirabile first hit the Wendy’s at 61-11 Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood on Nov. 23.
Surveillance video, according to the Queens District Attorney, shows him entering the restaurant, bag in hand, and heading towards the men’s bathrooms, exiting only a few minutes later with a full bag.
The store manager later entered the restroom and noticed that the automatic flushing fixtures on the toilet and urinal were missing.
Mirable then struck the Wendy’s location once more just three days later, when he returned and stole the toilet parts again.
A Burger King at 33-10 Astoria Blvd. in Astoria was also hit in a similar fashion on both Dec. 7 and Dec. 28., with Mirabile spending no more than 10 minutes in the restroom, the Queens DA office said.
Next on the list were the Arby’s and Wendy’s on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, where Mirable allegedly lifted parts from the restaurants’ unisex bathrooms on Dec. 10 and 11.
The toilet-part thief then targeted two eateries in the Flushing area just two weeks later, allegedly stealing parts from the Bean N Bean coffee shop in Flushing and a Fresh Meadows Arbys on Dec. 26.
Mirabile toilet theft operation came to an end of Dec. 28, when he was arrested on the same day he returned to the Astoria Burger King to steal the restroom fixtures.
Mirabile has previously been hit with charges for menacing with a weapon, driving without a license and multiple drug possession charges.
His bail was set at $25,000 and he will appear again in court on Jan. 9.