Arrest ends burglary spree for career criminal

Michael Burnett is the prince of petty thieves.

A Williamsburg resident with a criminal history dating back to 1986, Burnett was again thrown into a prison cell on Saturday for allegedly committing seven more burglaries in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and East Flatbush, where he allegedly grabbed everything he could get his hands on.

Police said that no one was safe from the 44-year-old’s smash-and-grab tactics, not even little children at the Lefferts Gardens Montessori School on Rogers Avenue between Rutland Road and Fenimore Street, who lost their prized fish tank — fish included — when the six-time loser paid the school a late-night visit.

“We’re talking about a fish tank, a 10-gallon, with fish with plants and a light — and it’s gone,” said head teacher Winifred Wellington. “It’s the first thing you see when you come in, so that was very surprising for the students.”

One tot, Wellington said, told her, “I want the cops to get the bad guys and beat them up and just get them and put them in jail.”

The Montessori school was one of four day-care centers that Burnett burgled during a spree that lasted from March 19 to April 1.

“He took our new TV, a radio CD player, a DVD player and computer parts,” said Sheila Foster-Golding, owner of the David Foster Academy, located about a block further down on Rogers Avenue between Fenimore and Hawthorne streets. “He even took the antenna to our other TV, so we can’t play that either.”

Foster-Golding said that the suspect managed to pry and then prop open the security shutters on the night of March 31 before bashing through a Plexiglas door. The loot was carried off in a baby carriage that he also swiped from Foster-Golding’s school.

“There needs to be programs for people like him,” she said. “He has had so many arrests, but he doesn’t stop. What do you do?”

Prosecutors said that Burnett, who lives on Boerum Street between Leonard Street and Manhattan Avenue, snatched baby wipes, juice boxes DVDs and yogurt from the Brooklyn Institute for Children on Rogers Avenue between Winthrop and Parkside avenues as well as a DVD player and several DVDs from the Little Stars Day Care on Brooklyn Avenue between Midwood Street and Rutland Road.

Police caught up with Burnett on Friday on a parole violation. He had burglar’s tools on him, leading investigators to believe that he was about to hit his eighth address.

Cops say that Burnett confessed during questioning, claiming he had already sold what he swiped.

Prosecutors said that he had been arrested six times previously, mostly for robbery and assault charges.