EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 14, 2013

Police warn residents of doorbell-ringing thieves

When woman didn't answer door, two men stole $2,000 in power tools from shed

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — Police are warning residents to watch for thieves who ring the doorbell to see if someone is home and, when no one answers, take expensive items from the property.

It happened this week to one homeowner, police said.

Investigators said someone rang a woman’s doorbell and, when she didn’t answer, two men began taking tools out of her shed. They got away with several chain saws and a power leaf blower worth a total of $2,000, police said.

Police said the incident happened about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The woman, who lives on Crystal Street, heard the doorbell ring, but was delayed in getting to the door. Police said that might give them an edge in trying to catch the thieves, because the men assumed no one was home and began taking the items from the shed.

The woman saw the men and yelled at them and they drove off — but they did get away with the tools.

Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said when the woman went to the door and no one was there, she became suspicious.

She then went to another section of the house, where she looked out a window and saw a silver mini-van in her driveway and two men taking the power tools out of her shed.

“The woman yelled at them and they ran to the van and jumped in and drove off,” Thompson said. “Other witnesses noticed that the van was being driven by a female.”

Thompson said the woman and her father went out to the shed and found that the lock and latch were broken off and the shed was damaged. They told police they were missing two Husqvarna brand chain saws, one Partner brand chain saw and one Husqvarna leaf blower.

Thompson said other witnesses in the area were interviewed by police, who have identified suspects. The investigation is continuing, he said.