The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 25, 2009

Police investigate eighth housebreak

Police are investigating Carlisle’s eighth housebreak this season, which occurred at 969 Concord Street last Friday morning while the owner was away from the house for only three hours.

William Cooney returned home just after noon on Friday and knew something was wrong the minute he walked in the back door. Cupboards were open, drawers pulled out, and the house pretty much ransacked. Despite the extent of the mess he found, Cooney says only two cameras, a TV, a home computer and a small amount of cash were taken – articles which had immediate cash value.

Cooney and his wife, Deborah Power, have lived in the house for 25 years. He says his children “came home from the hospital” to that house. It is the family pictures that were in the stolen cameras, particularly those of his daughter’s recent high school graduation, that were the biggest loss. Though the pictures were backed up on the computer, backup devices were also taken, and Cooney feels they are lost.

Police came immediately when the housebreak was reported, bringing in the Concord police dog and trainer to check the house and yard and the woods behind the house. The burglar is thought to have parked on Buttrick Lane and cut through the woods to enter the Concord Street house through the back door. Police are processing the evidence they obtained with the assistance of the state crime lab in Sudbury. Police detective Andy Booth thinks the Concord Street housebreak was unpremeditated; one or more persons found no one was home, gained entrance, and took what they wanted.

Rise in housebreaks is area-wide

Booth says that housebreaks are up in surrounding communities and that local police departments are in immediate contact when a break occurs, either by an email report of the incident or by a direct telephone report. The Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) radio frequency can be used to immediately circulate information about criminal activity. There are also patterns and trends in criminal activity, e.g. cyber crime is more frequent than it was five years ago.

The accompanying graph shows Carlisle data on housebreaks for the past five years. Maya Liteplo’s article, “How safe are we?,” in the April 14, 2006 Mosquito, is subtitled “A look at Carlisle police statistics over 25 years” using data from the Carlisle Annual Reports – and so provides data for a longer period. Liteplo concluded that crime rates were going down and attributed that to Carlisle police department’s proactive policing program and to tougher laws. She also quoted former Police Chief David Galvin’s statement that crime was down in Carlisle and in neighboring towns, a fact that was also attributed to a shift in the type of crime committed.

What residents can do

Just as washing hands decreases the probability of coming down with the H1N1 flu virus, locking doors and using any alarm system acts as a deterrent to burglary. Police say over and over, “Lock your doors! Put your burglar alarm on! Report suspicious vehicles, persons and events!” There is vigorous and immediate investigation of resident reports and of burglar alarms connected to the police emergency response system, a statement verified by any reading of the Mosquito Police Log. Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity on their neighbors’ property. This is one sector in which being nosy can pay off handsomely. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito