EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 29, 2013

Police: Neighbors' call about odd activity catches thief

Contrasts second incident where witnesses failed to contact cops

HAVERHILL — Police are known for encouraging neighbors to watch out for each other’s property and call the police station when they see something suspicious.

Some neighbors took that advice last week, and it resulted in police arresting a man who is now charged with breaking into several vehicles.

But in a separate incident that happened the same day, police said other residents failed to heed the advice — even though they saw suspicious people in their neighborhood. And now, a safe is missing from a home there.

“The Police Department relies on the public to report suspicious activity,” said police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson. “Many crimes are solved or stopped in progress because of the actions of an alert neighbor.”

In the first incident, which happened last Thursday, police were sent to Moore Street about 5:33 p.m. on a report of a break in progress. A resident told police a man was walking down Moore Street, through Cypress Street and onto Green Street checking to see if any car doors were open. The area is off Summer Street, just a few blocks east of the public library. One witness said he saw the man enter two vehicles, while another witness told police he saw the suspect enter a third vehicle.

Officers noticed a man on Green Street who matched the description of the suspect. The man, whom police later identified as Jason Macleod, 33, of Belmont, N.H., was carryiong several items police believe he took from three vehicles he had entered, according to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court. The items included $103 in cash, a pair of sunglasses, a Maxell FM transmitter, bank receipts and a Walgreens rewards card.

Macleod told police he was waiting for his girlfriend to pick him up and that he went into all the vehicles because he “thought it might be his girlfriend’s car,” the report stated. Macleod said his girlfriend had given him the cash the day before and that he “did not remember where he got the other items in his pocket,” according to the report.

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