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Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
January 09, 2017

DA VANCE: COUPLE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR 2016 EAST HARLEM HOME INVASION

Defendants Entered Victim’s Home Under the Guise of Taking a Survey, Assaulted and Robbed Him

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of SARAH NAPIER, 28, to 7 years in state prison and TRACEY WILLIAMS, 28, to 9 years in state prison for attacking a man in his East Harlem home after entering under the guise of taking a survey. On December 15, 2016, the defendants pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Burglary in the First Degree. 

“This couple concocted a ruse involving an electrical utilities survey in order to gain access to the home of an unsuspecting New Yorker and violently rob him,” said District Attorney Vance. “Be wary of strangers that ask to enter your home for any reason, and don’t let anyone inside without verifying their identification and presence with the company or organization which they claim to represent. I thank the victim in his case for his bravery and my Office’s prosecutors for ensuring these defendants are held accountable for this predatory scam.”

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and statements made on the record in court, on February 11, 2016 at approximately 9:00 p.m. NAPIER and WILLIAMS knocked on the door of a 57-year-old man’s apartment on 1st Avenue and East 120th Street in Harlem and told him they were taking a survey related to residential utilities usage. The defendants spoke to the man for 5-10 minutes in his home, and as he was attempting to usher them out, WILLIAMS hit him from behind, knocking him unconscious. 

When the victim woke up several hours later, he was injured and bleeding, and he noticed that his smartphone, laptop computer, tablet, and other personal belongings were missing. He walked to the 25th Precinct station house where police called an ambulance. He was hospitalized for 36 hours, having suffered a concussion from the attack.

On February 27, 2016, the victim saw NAPIER and WILLIAMS on the subway, took a photo of them, and alerted police. NYPD detectives circulated a wanted poster and apprehended the defendants after receiving a tip that they were living in a shelter in the Bronx. Several items stolen from the victim were discovered among the defendants’ belongings. The defendants sold several other of the victim’s items to a pawn shop in East Harlem. 

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Aminoff prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Lisa Delpizzo, Deputy Bureau Chief of Trial Bureau 70; Assistant District Attorney David Hammer, Deputy Bureau Chief of Trial Bureau 70; Assistant District Attorney Emilio Estela, Deputy Bureau Chief of Trial Bureau 70; Alfred Peterson, Chief of Trial Bureau 70; and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. 

District Attorney Vance thanked Detective Antonio Mok of the Manhattan Robbery Squad, the employees of the Prospect Hotel, and Loans R Us pawn shop. 

Defendant Information:

SARAH NAPIER, D.O.B. 08/1/1988
Bronx, NY

Convicted: 
•    Burglary in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count

Sentenced:
•    7 years in state prison

TRACEY WILLIAMS, D.O.B 6/10/1988
Bronx, NY

Convicted: 
•    Burglary in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count

Sentenced:
•    9 years in state prison