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January 18, 2014

Southern N.H. police may have key to burglary spike

Burglaries in four towns may be linked to suspects

Police in at least four Southern New Hampshire towns hope a couple of arrests this week will mean an end to a recent spike in residential burglaries.

Derry police arrested Bonnie Usher, 46, of Derry Wednesday and charged her with burglary, attempted burglary, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

Police in Londonderry, Auburn and Salem are looking at Usher as a potential suspect in burglaries in their towns.

On Thursday night, the Southern New Hampshire Special Operations Unit executed a search warrant at 4 North Main St. in Salem.

Police believe Usher may have been trading stolen jewelry for narcotics at the Salem home, Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said yesterday.

The SOU team was called in because police believed there were numerous people, weapons and several dogs in the residence, Patten said. One of the dogs was described as potentially aggressive.

Police closed down a section of Main and North Main streets for about 20 minutes around 8 p.m. Thursday while officers secured the house, he said.

Police recovered thousands of dollars of stolen jewelry and a “significant” amount of heroin, Patten said.

Rita Cooper, 48, was arrested and charged with two felonies, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute.

“No firearms were seized,” Patten said. “They were legally owned by others in the residence. Guns were not included in the search warrant.”

Yesterday, police were just beginning to catalog the thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, which included a Rolex watch, he said.

“It appears the house was being run as an illegal fencing operation,” Patten said.

He described the amount of heroin as “several fingers” and said police also found assorted drug paraphernalia in the home. A finger is a street measurement for heroin, which can run from 5 to 10 grams.

The house, a modest, vinyl-sided ranch, is owned by the Crawford Living Trust, according to town assessing records. It sits back from the street behind an auto repair shop.

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