The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 24, 2007


Area police help Carlisle nab Rutland Street burglary suspect

A 911 call from a 19-year-old Rutland Street resident at noon on July 30 led area police on a fast-moving trail of surprises and unexpected turns that ended in the arrest of 35-year-old Jason Riley of Lowell on August 4.

The investigation started as a report of "break-in in progress" on Rutland Street, moved to the identification of the vehicle involved and efforts to identify the owner and link him to the theft, and finally to his arrest. It involved a number of persons in different towns whose memory and alertness were vital in Riley's apprehension, as evidenced by the following sequence of events:

Lowell, July 30, 11 a.m.: A Lowell police officer, coming out of court, saw and recognized Riley's speeding truck and noted the license plate number.

Carlisle, noon: A 19-year-old Rutland Street resident was home alone and heard banging on the side porch door. She saw a man there, trying to get into the house, and ran upstairs and called 911.

Just after noon: Another Carlisle resident saw a silver pickup on Rutland Street in the Rutland Street driveway.

Carlisle Police Lt. Leo Crowe and Inspector Andy Booth passed two people in a silver truck loaded with a partially covered lawn tractor while en route to the "burglary in progress" on Rutland Street. No one knew at that time what, if anything, had been stolen, let alone that it might be the lawn tractor and perpetrators who passed them in the silver pickup.

Also just after noon, Frank Sargent, an off-duty firefighter, saw a speeding truck driving recklessly on Lowell Street and got a partial license plate number. It was from these partial plate numbers that Carlisle dispatcher Mike Taplin was able to track down the registration of the silver truck. It was the registration information that led police eventually to Riley. Taplin sent a Be On the Lookout (BOLO) notice for a reckless driver in a silver truck to surrounding towns. At this point the truck was not connected with the theft.

Chelmsford: A Lowell police officer having his cruiser inspected saw a speeding silver truck go through a stop sign. He could not pursue the truck because his car was up on the lift. He called in the information, but other police could not locate the vehicle. Carlisle police also checked the area for the truck.

Carlisle: Booth and Crowe were at the scene of the burglary on Rutland Street and learned from the home-owner that his John Deere PL150 tractor was gone. Now the police knew what was missing, and through the plate identification they had registration information about the truck. The truck was not yet clearly linked to the stolen tractor, but the possibility of this connection was emerging.

Booth remembered a case of a lawn tractor stolen in Chelmsford that had been discussed in a class he took, and he called Chelmsford officer Dave Leo.

Tewksbury: The truck's registration information led to Jason Riley in Tewksbury, so Booth started his investigation with a call to Tewksbury and a visit to the residence there. He talked to a woman who said the car was at her mother's house in Lowell. According to Booth, she was reluctant to give out more information and said, "I could talk to a lawyer." Booth went to the Lowell address and was told Riley worked in Amesbury, but the Amesbury address was a false one.

Billerica and Lowell, July 31 —August 2: Riley's workplace was ultimately determined to be in Billerica and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Booth and Sgt. Scott Barnes did surveillance at the Lowell residence and Billerica workplace.

Carlisle, August 3: Booth took a set of photographs of Riley and 11 different people generated by the Middlesex House of Correction to the Rutland Street resident who had placed the 911 call, and she was able to positively identify Riley as the person whom she had seen attempting burglary.

Billerica, August 3: Riley was arrested in Billerica on a warrant from the Concord District Court (which serves Carlisle.) He was brought to Carlisle and held until the court convened the following Monday .

Carlisle police station, 5:42 a.m., Saturday, August 4: The fire department responded to a medical emergency at the police station and transported Riley to Emerson Hospital. He was later brought back to the police station.

Carlisle police station, 1 p.m.: Riley said he had a medical emergency. The ambulance was called again.

Carlisle police station,1:26 p.m.: Riley attempted to escape from police custody, but was unsuccessful. He was taken to Emerson Hospital in the ambulance, with a guard. After being seen at Emerson, he was discharged back to the police station.

Concord, Monday, August 6: Riley was arraigned in the Concord District Court on probation violation charges and bail was set. He did not have money for bail at that time.

As the Mosquito goes to press, Riley has been transferred to the Cambridge jail. His next court hearing will be on September 6 in the Concord District Court.

The missing tractor has not been located, but thanks to the combination of a resourceful 19-year-old, an alert off-duty firefighter, Lowell police and to the patient work of the Carlisle Police Department, a suspect has been apprehended. The second person seen in the truck has not yet been identified.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito