EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


September 27, 2012

Cops: Cemetery purse thief nabbed

Boston man suspected of stealing purse from woman visiting grave in Haverhill

HAVERHILL — A Boston man who staked out a cemetery to rob a woman’s purse from her car while she visited a grave is being eyed in similar crimes in the area, police said.

Pedro Colon, 51, of 20 Kemp St., Boston was charged this week with one count of breaking and entering a vehicle, larceny of a credit card and larceny below and above $250 for one purse he allegedly stole from a woman in Linwood Cemetery.

However, police Detective Capt. Alan Ratte said Colon is also a suspect in other crimes in the area, but he would not discuss what crimes as he said they are still under investigation. At least two similar thefts were reported at Methuen cemeteries in recent months.

“People need to lock their vehicles prior to visiting graves as when their back is turned they can very easily become a victim,” Ratte said. “Even though people may not believe a crime can take place in a tranquil place such as a cemetery, it actually happens more than you would think. Be vigilant of your surroundings.”

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, a 60-year-old Plaistow woman had parked her car at the Linwood Cemetery in Haverhill Aug. 10 and was about 20 feet away from it when she heard a sound. The woman said she saw a man walking away from her car and noticed that he dropped a plastic jug. She said the man then ran to a waiting car, which she described as a white “boxy” vehicle, then he hopped into the passenger side while the car was in motion. She said the car drove off in the direction of John Ward Avenue.

The woman told police that before she could report her credit cards stolen, her credit card company notified her of two suspicious transactions.

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