Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Watch out for some brazen burglars

Police in Plaistow are looking for some jewelry thieves who were startled and took off when the homeowner came home and caught them in the act.

I wrote a story for last week's New Hampshire Union Leader about the thefts, and I thought it might be a good idea to post the story just so people are aware and remain alert. The theft was pretty scary for the homeowner who arrived home to find the getaway car in the driveway with the burglars still inside.

Here's the story:
PLAISTOW- A homeowner arrives at his house on July 22 and spooked some jewelry thieves when he caught them red-handed.

Police said the burglars began their heist when the Partridge Lane resident left his home for less than 20 minutes. The resident returned home to find a man sitting in a getaway car in the driveway. The man eventually honked the horn, alerting two thieves inside that they had been caught.
Moments later two men darted from the house, hopped into the car, and the three sped away with jewelry and other items in hand.

Police responded to the residence just after 10 a.m. The home is located on the Route 108 side of town, about a mile from the Haverhill, Mass., border.

According to police, the resident left his garage door open and the entryway from the garage to the house unlocked when left briefly. When he returned, police said the resident noticed a white Toyota Corolla parked in his driveway with a man sitting in the driver's seat. He also saw that the Massachusetts license plates on the front and back were covered with duct tape.

While entering the driveway, the man in the Toyota began honking the horn. The homeowner then approached the driver to see what he was doing. At that point, police said, the driver told the resident that he was trying to find Fox Hill Road.

Deputy Police Chief Kathleen Jones said there is no road named Fox Hill Road in Plaistow. However, she said the driver might have confused the name with Fox Hollow Road, which is located in the area of Partridge Lane.

After hearing the horn, two men quickly ran from the garage and jumped into the car, which took off at a high rate of speed toward the road, police said.

The thieves made off with two jewelry boxes, though the type and amount of jewelry wasn’t known, police said. The homeowner was checking to see if other items were taken as well.

Jones said homeowners need to make sure to lock up, even when they know they’ll only be gone for a short time. “Don’t make yourself a viable target,” she said.

The driver was described as a white male, in his mid- to late-30s, with a large build. He was clean shaven with a dark skin tone.

One of the men who ran from the house was described as a white, 5-foot-11, in his late 20s, with a large build and a complexion similar to the driver. He was wearing a dark sweatshirt and shorts and was carrying a backpack. The other man was described as a white, 6-foot-1, 170 to 180 pounds, with dark hair. He was wearing jeans and was carrying a camouflaged colored backpack.

Police said the vehicle was described as an early model 4-door, white Toyota Corolla, possibly around 2000. The vehicle was in good condition and the homeowner noticed no stickers, decals, damage, or rust.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Plaistow’s investigation unit at 382-1200.

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