EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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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


She was arraigned Thursday and is being held on $15,000 cash bail. Usher is scheduled for a probable cause hearing next Thursday.

Many more charges could be coming, including more in Derry.

“We’re exploring her connection to other burglaries in Derry,” Thomas said.

They’re not alone.

“She has been interviewed for at least three burglaries that took place between fall and early winter,” Londonderry Detective Christopher Olson said yesterday. “It’s an active investigation and she’s absolutely a suspect.”

He said there were more burglaries in that general area of Londonderry within the same time period.

“We anticipate being able to link her to several burglaries in town,” Olson said.

It’s the same story in nearby Auburn, a small town that doesn’t usually see much crime.

But it’s been a different story in recent weeks, according to Auburn police Sgt. Chip Chabot.

“We’ve had a huge spike in burglaries and attempted burglaries,” Chabot said yesterday. “Twelve in a year is a lot for us, but from Dec. 1 to today, we’ve had 10 burglaries. (Usher) is a suspect in several of our burglaries.”

He said jewelry appeared to be the target of the burglaries in Auburn. Police there had not yet seen the evidence taken in the Salem search.

“It’s very concerning for us, we’re a small town with a very active Neighborhood Watch group,” Chabot said. “It’s disheartening to have 10 burglaries.”

Area police departments will soon have the opportunity to examine the jewelry seized in the search at Cooper’s home, Patten said.

“Once we get everything catalogued and evidenced, we’ll reach out to all the cities and towns were burglaries have occurred and try to return the items to their owners,” he said.

He said police believe people were bringing stolen jewelry to Cooper to avoid dealing with pawnshops.

“In Salem in particular, we have over 20 pawnshops,” Patten said. “They are heavily regulated and monitored, so someone hoping to avoid that monitoring would certainly find this method of business appealing. We’re hoping it’s not widespread.”

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