New London — On Nov. 21, police said, a man was in the kitchen of his Crystal Avenue home when a masked man appeared in the hallway holding a stun gun. Clicking it on and off, he told the man, “I’m here to pay you a visit from someone.”
Six days later, police said, a handicapped 91-year-old man suddenly found himself face to face with two masked men in his Pacific Street home, one of whom held a stun gun to his neck and demanded money.
Earlier in the month, police said, one of the men even burglarized the homes of his adoptive mother and her best friend while they were at church.
The incidents were among a string of crimes New London police detectives say were committed by cousins Jaden Alvarez, 20, of New London, and Marcus Delgado, 19, of Groton.
The two men remain behind bars following their appearance Monday in New London Superior Court, where Judge Susan B. Handy set a $1 million bond for Alvarez and a $750,000 bond for Delgado.
The list of their alleged crimes is lengthy and includes multiple counts of burglary and larceny, along with home invasion and criminal use of a firearm.
City police said the two men committed an Oct. 18 burglary at an ice cream shop at 60 Bank St.; a Nov. 10 burglary on Pacific Street; a Nov. 17 burglary on Orchard Terrace in Groton; a Nov. 21 home invasion and burglary on Crystal Avenue; and a Nov. 27 home invasion and robbery at a different address on Pacific Street.
The victims included Alvarez’s adoptive mother and her best friend, whose homes were burglarized of cash and jewelry while they were at church, police said.
Another victim was the owner of a New London ice cream shop where Alvarez used to work. Not only was the safe pulled from the floor at the ice cream shop, but the owner was the same man confronted in his Crystal Avenue home. The unidentified man had once lived with and tried to adopt Alvarez, police said.
Alvarez, who wears a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet as a condition of his probation in an unrelated case, apparently slips off the bracelet to leave his home when he wants, police said.
After the Nov. 27 home invasion, police showed up at Alvarez’s Oneco Street home to question him about his knowledge of the recent spate of crimes. Police, at that point, had already linked some of the victims to Alvarez, according to the arrest warrant affidavit in the case.
Two days later they showed up at Alvarez’s home again, this time with a warrant, searching for items related to the burglaries. When Alvarez arrived home, police said, he was searched and found to be in possession of a stolen and loaded 9 mm handgun.
Police said they eventually obtained confessions from both of the men. Alvarez, according to the police report, said he used to live with the ice cream shop owner but the two had had a falling out over money. He had targeted the ice cream shop because he knew the layout of the business and that the money was kept in a safe, the report said.
They later broke into the ice cream shop owner’s home on Crystal Avenue, the report said. Sneaking up through the basement, Delgado told police, the plan was to stun the victim, cover his head and hold him down while he and Alvarez burglarized the place.
Delgado said he got nervous and ran back down the basement stairs.
Both men were charged in connection with the crime spree on Saturday. Police served the warrant for Alvarez while he was in custody at the police station on a weapons charges stemming from their search of him last week. Delgado was arrested at Waterford Regal Cinemas while watching a movie. The two men are due back in court on Dec. 17.