EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 16, 2010

Texting trick leads to robbery

HAVERHILL — A woman used a cell phone text message to trick a man into letting her and a companion into his apartment, police said.

Once inside, the woman's companion hit the man in the head with a handgun and took $3,890 in cash from his apartment, police said.

An investigation into the home invasion has led to criminal charges against three people: The woman who did the text messaging, the gunman and another woman who drove the three of them to the robbery location, police said. The gunman also was wanted as a fugitive by U.S. marshals.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, the three were involved in a home invasion on the night of Nov. 15 of an apartment in the Cordovan complex at 45 Locust St. Police said William Marcano, 32, used a .45-caliber pistol to threaten a man and a woman in the apartment, struck the man in the back of the head with the gun, and then took the $3,890 in cash, as well as a silver necklace and two cell phones.

The man, who rents the apartment, told police Marcano was accompanied there by Allison Sullivan, 22, of 6 Columbia Park, Unit 8. The victim said he knows Sullivan and that she sent him a text message asking if she could drop by the apartment. She text messaged from outside the apartment building and the man in the apartment buzzed her into the building, police said. The man opened his apartment door to let Sullivan in and Marcano went in with her, police said.

On Tuesday morning, Haverhill police detectives and U.S. marshals arrested Marcano at 24 Atwood Road along with Jennifer Balch, 25, of 144-F Old Ferry Road. Police said the house is owned by Balch's mother and that Balch and Marcano had been dating and had been staying there.

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