EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 19, 2012

Teen charged with series of thefts from cars

19-year-old's pockets bulged with stolen items, police say

By Mike LaBella mlabella@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — HAVERHILL — Police said they have solved the mystery of who has been stealing from unlocked cars in Bradford — and that a teenager is to blame.

Aaron Buckley, 19, of 15 Shawmut Ave., is charged with stealing everything from to an iPod Touch, a wedding ring, GPS devices and a collection of silver coins.

Police said they caught Buckley when an officer noticed his pockets were bulging as Buckley walked through a Bradford neighborhood. The officer asked Buckley what he was carrying and discovered a variety of items that appeared to have been stolen, police said. Buckley was also carrying drugs and straws that he said he uses to sort the drugs, according to police.

During Buckley’s arraignment yesterday in Haverhill District Court, Judge Stephen Abany allowed a court clinician and Buckley’s court-appointed defense lawyer time to contact his grandmother, whom Buckley lived with, according to police.

Buckley’s lawyer, Maria Murber, said his grandmother was too embarrassed to appear in court. She needed time to think about whether she would post bail and also if she would allow him to return to her home, Murber said. Buckley’s mother lives in Maine, but no relationship exists between them, Murber said.

“His father is deceased, he lives with his grandmother and he’s lived in this area all his life,” Murber said in asking that Buckley be released on minimal bail. She said he posed no risk of fleeing.

Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo asked that Buckley be held on a high bail amount. He said although Buckley has no prior record, he is responsible for a slew of car breaks in the Bradford area.

“A street would be picked, then all the cars on that street would be hit,” DePaulo said, adding that Buckley would only enter unlocked vehicles.

Police charged Buckley with six counts of larceny under $250, six counts of larceny over $250, 14 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime for felony, and one count of malicious destruction of property. Police said he damaged the dashboard of one of the vehicles he entered.

Police said the items Buckley took from vehicles included an iPod Touch valued at $400, a cigar lighter valued at $25, a backpack valued at $40, a gold-and-white wedding ring valued at $500, two GPS devices each valued at $200, a collection of silver coins valued at $200, a dashboard CD player valued at $275, and small amounts of coins and cash.

Police said the breaks occurred over the last few weeks and were primarily in the area surrounding Zion Bible College.

“He told police he could give back much of what was taken,” DePaulo said.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, on Wednesday about 10:45 a.m., Officer David Mekalian was on patrol when dispatch notified him of a man who called to report that a white male dressed in a red hoodie was trying to enter parked vehicles and was walking up Leroy Avenue toward South Main Street. Officer Brian Bailey, who was working a detail in the area, spotted the suspect and stopped him to question him. The officer said the man’s pockets were “bulging out” and were filled with something. The man, who identified himself as Buckley, began removing items from his pockets, including several cell phone charger devices, police said.

At that time, a tissue filled with several different kinds of pills fell from Buckley’s pocket onto the ground. Mekalian arrived and questioned Buckley about the pills. Buckley said he has a prescription for clonazepam, a drug used in the treatment of seizures and panic disorders. Police said Buckley had 29 whole tablets and three half tablets, but no proof they were his.

Mekalian asked Buckley why he had several small straws in his cigarette pack, and Buckley said he uses them to snort the clonazepam, police said. They said Buckley also was in possession of 20 orange-and-blue pills identified as Vyvanse, 70 mg, and 18 white-and-blue pills identified as Vyvanse 50 mg. Vyvanse is a medication used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Following a delay during yesterday’s hearing, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wood stepped in for DePaulo, who was called away on other matters. Wood said the charges against Buckley are serious and that additional charges may be filed. He asked that Buckley be held on $5,000 cash bail.

Murber said Buckley cooperated with police, and that in turn police are now blaming other car breaks on him.

Abany ordered Buckley held on $500 cash bail and told Buckley’s defense lawyer and the prosecutor he would reconsider the amount if matters pertaining to his bail should change. Buckley was ordered to appear Nov. 8 for a pretrial hearing.

Following yesterday’s hearing, Murber told The Eagle-Tribune she planned to reach out to Buckley’s grandmother in hopes she will take him back if bail is posted.