EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 1, 2013

Brazen Derry theft captured on video

Man, boy shown stealing outdoor grill

DERRY — The disturbing scene is captured in black and white.

A young boy, believed to be about 10 years old, is captured on a store surveillance video as he helps a man steal a heavy grill from outside a secondhand store.

Laura Barker, owner of Finders Keepers at 16 Crystal Ave., was aghast yesterday afternoon as she described the theft.

But Barker said she was relieved to learn from Derry police that officers had identified the suspect and were waiting to make an arrest.

Finders Keepers, which opened in August, is similar to a thrift shop. Proceeds are donated to children’s charities and organizations serving military personnel stationed overseas.

When Barker watched the surveillance video and saw a child helping a burglar, she said she simply couldn’t believe it. She said the video went viral after she released it to the media, hoping it would lead to an arrest.

“It was enough they were stealing items that were intended to help other people,” she said. “But to see a child assisting was horrible. It was just like adding insult to injury.”

Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas said the Grill Tech grill was recovered Monday and police issued an arrest warrant.

Thomas would not say how police found the man, but added it was before the video was released. The suspect’s name has not been released.

The video clearly shows the man, who is not disguised, steal the grill at 8:43 p.m. Friday and enlist the child’s help carrying it off the porch. The grill, worth about $400 new, was being sold for $75.

The store closed at 6 p.m. The grill was left on the porch because it was too heavy to move, Barker said.

“To get it down the stairs, the boy had to hold up the end,” she said.

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