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.
Officers said they found Macleod’s girlfriend waiting in her car at the public library. She told police she was waiting to pick up Macleod and that she had given him about $40 earlier that week. The money was submitted into evidence, police said. The missing items were returned to their owners, police said.
Macleod was arraigned in Haverhill District Court on two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, and one count of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny from a motor vehicle. He was held on $200 cash bail and must appear June 13 for a pretrial hearing.
“People know what is common or uncommon for their neighborhood, so let us know if you believe something is suspicious,” Thompson said.
In the second incident where police said a safe was stolen, officers were sent to a home on South Main Street in Bradford on a report of a break about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. According to a police report, the victim told police that someone broke into his home and took a small safe that was on the floor of his bedroom. The man said that when he got home, he noticed his bedroom door jamb appeared to be damaged. He said the safe contained a check from a local business for about $1,400.
The man told police that he had talked to some of his neighbors, who told him they saw two men, one with a tattoo on his cheek, climb through a window of the victim’s home. Police said the window was unlocked. The victim said other items of value in his apartment, including a television and an iPad were not taken. Police believe the break occurred between 6:30 and 10 p.m. that evening.
“Why these neighbors did not contact HPD (Haverhill Police Department) for this behavior is not clear,” Patrolman James Keenan wrote in his report detailing the incident.