By Jill Harmacinski
---- — LAWRENCE — Running through yards and hopping fences, police captured the prime suspect in a string of home burglaries and car breaks in the city’s Colonial Heights neighborhood.
After police tackled him late Monday afternoon, police said they found Luis Burgos, 37, with a bag full of stolen wrist watches, gold coins and earrings.
At least eight homes were broken into in the neighborhood and many car breaks were reported to police since Nov. 1, 2011. Using a surveillance tape taken from a home that was robbed, police identified Burgos, who has a previous burglary record, as a suspect in the crimes.
The department’s crime analysis unit issued bulletins to officers about Burgos and police upped their patrols in Colonial Heights. The neighborhood is off Route 114 behind the closed Showcase Cinema complex.
On Monday afternoon, Sgt. Joseph “Jay” Cerullo, was on patrol in the area and spotted a man fitting Burgos’ description walking down Street off Chickering Road.
“Burgos is known to the police as a person who has a long criminal history for house and car breaks,” Cerullo wrote in his report.
Cerullo, accompanied by Capt. Michael Driscoll, tried to talk to Burgos as he started walking on Vandergrief Street but as he approached him, Burgos fled. But Cerullo was right behind him, running through yards and jumping fences after him.
He was on his heels at Kent and Durso streets. Then Burgos was confronted by officer Adam Goujon. He tried to run around him, but Goujon grabbed him by the jacket and tackled him on the ground.
Burgos fought with Goujon, punching him. “After several minutes of us struggling with the suspect on the ground I was able to handcuff Burgos and place him under arrest,” Cerullo wrote.
Officers were then able to tie Burgos to a burglary early Monday at a Chickering Road home. Cerullo showed the homeowner a bag of wristwatches seized from Burgos after his arrest. The woman said they were missing from her jewelry box inside.
During booking, police also found Burgos had gold coins and earrings, believed to be stolen, in his possession.
Burgos, of 570 South Union St., #6, was arrested and charged on a felony warrant for breaking and entering, resisting arrest, misdemeanor breaking and entering, assault and battery on a police officer, trespassing, malicious destruction of property and larceny of property valued over $250.
He was arraigned yesterday in Lawrence District Court and held without bail. Burgos is due back in district court today for an appearance in another criminal case, according to court records.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.