The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 22, 2002


Carlisle arrest solves other crimes in region

The October 9 police stakeout and arrest of a man vandalizing a car at the canoe launch at Great Brook Farm State Park has provided leads that have solved up to 30 car break-ins and two household breaks in area towns — Hamilton, Wakefield and Andover. This information has made it possible to close the investigations on those cases.

One clue leads to another

Eric Mansfield, the man arrested in the Carlisle action, is currently being held at the Cambridge jail on $5,000 bail. He has admitted to other break-ins and gave information that led to an arrest warrant for an accomplice who assisted at a past car break-in at the canoe launch. Mansfield's information has also provided the police with another suspect for car breaks. Lt. John Sullivan of the Carlisle Police said these leads have made it possible to identify a widening ring of persons involved in regional car break-ins with theft of purses and credit cards. In some cases only a name and a frequently-visited site, together with surveillance photos from places where the stolen credit cards were used, have led to the identification of the perpetrators. In other cases, fingerprints obtained at the scene of the theft have been matched with those of the newly identified suspect, linking them to a previously unsolved crime.

Sullivan says this particular group "travels a lot" in the area. Stolen credit cards were used at five Ninety-Nine restaurants. At one Ninety-Nine a woman used a stolen card to purchase $1,600 worth of gift certificates.

Sullivan is amazed at the way in which the canoe launch case continues to unfold. In most cases the information obtained by police authorities in the town where the crime occurred is difficult to link with break-ins in communities outside that jurisdiction. For example, the person caught in Carlisle (Middlesex court) may also be wanted for a similar offense in another court system, but the two events frequently cannot be tied together. A person charged in Lowell for improper use of credit cards may be charged in Carlisle for having stolen the cards. This time, says Sullivan, this case just doesn't seem to stop.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito