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December 6, 2012

K-9 unit captures burglary suspect

Homeowner confronts man in back of house

METHUEN — Police say burglary suspect Michael Robillard got caught again by the K-9 unit acting on a citizen’s tip that he was trying to break into another home in the city’s west end.

Robillard, 25, of 1 Bean St., who police say may be involved in several other house breaks to support a drug habit, fled into the woods from a Moffett Street house Wednesday night after the homeowner heard him jiggling the door knob to the rear entrance.

“I thought it was my wife coming home early,” the homeowner said in an interview.

“I opened the door, and there was a strange guy standing at the back door. When I confronted him, he gave me a story about going around the neighborhood, knocking on peoples’ doors saying his dog was missing and asking for permission to look through people’s yards,” he said.

“But I could tell he was lying. He didn’t knock on the door and he came to the back door. I pretty much told him I didn’t believe him and told him, ‘I’m calling the cops and it’s probably in your best interests to get out of here.’ So, he ran out into the woods,” the homeowner recalled.

Soon after the neighbor called emergency 911, Dunkin, a 7-year-old female Dutch Shepherd and her handler officer Jeff Torrisi, were at the backdoor, trying to pick up the trail to capture the suspect.

“It seemed like something out of CSI,” the homeowner said, referring to the popular CBS crime drama TV series.

“The officer brought him to the back door and let him sniff around, pick up the scent and go off into the woods. It was pretty impressive, especially when they caught the guy. Great job by the Methuen police. This is a good resource for our town to have,” he said.

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