EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 9, 2013

Home invasion victims recognized mask gunman as a family acquaintance

Invasion: Police arrest alleged masked gunman

LAWRENCE — Police say the victims of an armed home invasion on Melrose Street early yesterday were able to identify one of the masked intruders who robbed them of $4,000 in cash after recognizing his voice as a family acquaintance who visited their house frequently.

Police requested that The Eagle-Tribune not release the victims’ names for their own protection.

One, a 16-year-old girl, was also able to provide police a photo and full name of Todd Muir because he had recently added her as a friend to his Facebook page, Lawrence police Officer Angel M. Lopez noted in his report.

A 49-year-old woman who had been bashed in the head with a gun several times before being threatened at gunpoint and dragged by her hair told police she had no doubts about the man who ordered her to “Give me the money or I will kill you,” according to Officer Lopez.

The woman said that Muir had been around enough times, that when he spoke, she knew his voice, according to the report.

Based on the photo and the voice recognition, police obtained an arrest warrant for Muir, 27, of 2 Blaisdell St., Apartment 2, Haverhill. State and Haverhill police later arrested Muir at his apartment where he had barricaded himself in, according to police.

Muir was being held last night without bail at the Haverhill Police Station. He was due to be arraigned at Lawrence District Court Monday on numerous violent charges, including three counts of armed home invasion, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm.

“We were able to make a quick arrest in this case because the family was familiar with him,” Lawrence police Chief John Romero said in an interview yesterday. “When there’s a home invasion, usually it’s not random. There’s a reason why a place is targeted. We believe the money was the motive here and this individual had knowledge that the victims kept money in their home.”

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