The brazen gunmen nabbed for terrorizing a wealthy Mill Island family with their own legal troubles could be responsible for other home invasions in the neighborhood, police say.
After being nabbed for raiding an E. 65th Street home between Strickland Avenue and Mayfair Drive North on Aug. 10, detectives from the 63rd Precinct spent most of the next day putting suspects Sami Waters, 48, and William Soler, 29, through line ups to see if they could be picked out by victims of similar robberies. They were all questioned about a recent home invasion murder in Canarsie.
By late Thursday, no additional charges had been filed against the two Flatbush residents, but that doesn’t mean the investigation is over, according to some.
“Right now all we have them on is the one robbery, but that could change,” said one police source.
Water and Soler were arrested just minutes after they held up a Mill Island couple and their 20-year-old daughter at gunpoint.
The two men — one sporting a bullet proof vest — waited in the bushes behind the ornate $2-million home in the tony neighborhood until victim Alexander Bromberg went outside to have a cigarette at 9:48 pm.
They jumped the 52-year-old, pulled a gun on him and forced the homeowner back inside, where they rounded up his wife, Vera, and daughter, Yani, and forced them to lay down on the kitchen floor.
“Who wants to die first,” the thugs asked, taunting their victims before cracking a pistol over the 51-year-old woman’s head when she wouldn’t move fast enough.
“We were taken off guard. I heard my mother yelling my name and I turned and I was looking at a gun,” Yani told the New York Post, recalling the harrowing experience.
The duo are alleged to have swiped $2,000 in cash that Bromberg had set aside for a contractor and an additional $45,000 worth of jewelry before fleeing the scene in Yani’s 2009 Honda Accord.
The car was ditched at the corner of E. 64th Street and Avenue U. The suspects were on foot when they were stopped by police, but not because of the robbery — at least at first.
Cops on a patrol in Mill Island thought Soler and Waters — who were decked out in jeans and long-sleeved thermal shirts and lugging backpacks on a balmy 80-degree evening — appeared suspicious and stopped to question them.
As they did so, the 911 about the home invasion was came over the radio.
Soler and Waters ran off, but the officers grabbed them after a brief foot chase, recovering their guns and the stolen property.
No injuries were reported save for Vera Bromberg, who suffered a deep cut to the head and needed stitches.
Both Waters and Soler were charged with robbery in the first degree, burglary, criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful imprisonment. Both were remanded to custody at their indictment on Aug. 12. Attorney David Jacobs, who is representing Waters, would not comment on the arrest or the fact that his client is being investigated for committing several other crimes.
“There’s nothing we can do right now, the ball’s in the DA’s court,” he said.
Ironically, their victim is also in trouble with the law, although it remained unclear if it was the reason why he was targeted: Bromberg, who owns a medical company, was indicted in 2009 for medicare and medicaid fraud after investigators learned he receiving $1 million in kickbacks from ambulette services he steered patients to, officials said.