METHUEN — Police last night were conducting a manhunt for a 23-year-old New Hampshire resident wanted in connection with two of four home breaks reported in the city Thursday.
Gerardo Rodriguez, whose last known address was in Derry, is wanted on warrant for breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony and larceny from a building.
Police said Rodriguez is a suspect in burglaries that occurred late Thursday morning in the Arlington neighborhood and east end of the city. Taken from the homes were jewelry and electronics, including a 40-inch flat screen television and laptop computer.
Thursday’s incidents followed a string of breaks over the last two weeks in the Haverhill Street area near the Lawrence line. The burglaries and breaks are part of a “seasonal uptick” in those crimes, according to police Chief Joseph Solomon. After summer ends, more homes in the city are left unoccupied during daytime hours, Solomon said.
The chief called on residents to watch for suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and take simple precautions to protect their property. “Make sure you lock all your doors. If you have an air conditioner in the window, make sure it’s secure.”
Rodriguez also has warrants out of Boston and Derry, for possession of burglarious tools and receiving a stolen motor vehicle. Residents with information on his whereabouts were asked to call their local police department.
Police believe Rodriguez broke into 37 Taylor St. and 61 Tudor St. with the help of his ex-girlfriend Leah Limone, 21, of Salem, N.H. Limone received a court summons Thursday on charges of breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact, and larceny from a building.
Detectives also arrested two juvenile males from Methuen on Thursday and charged them with breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony and larceny over $250. They were arrested after being caught on video surveillance burglarizing 14 Arlington St., where a homeowner reported missing a watch, jewelry, video game system and backpack, according to a police report.
A break was also reported Thursday at 1 Merrill St. Solomon said the incident remains under investigation.
Rodriguez is believed to have gained access at 37 Taylor St. through a rear cellar window before stealing jewelry and a watch, according to a police report. The incident was reported at 10:33 a.m.
Officers were then called to 61 Tudor St. at 11:40 a.m. for a suspicious vehicle. A witness reported seeing Limone in the vehicle and Rodriguez run up to the rear of the residence. When the witness called police, Limone sounded the car horn and Rodriguez ran outside carrying a 40-inch flat screen television and laptop computer, according to a police report.
Rodriguez then got in the driver’s seat and drove away. The television and laptop are valued at $1,420, according to the report. Also reported missing was a gold watch. Police said the items are being held as evidence but are expected to be returned back to owners.
Officers on Tudor Street discovered broken windows on two side doors of the residence, with one of the doors left open. A screen from a rear window was also on the ground.
Police identified Limone after receiving her license plate number from the witness. Police were also notified by N.H. Pawn Broker Services of Salem, that Limone had come into the shop and sold the television just minutes after the break was reported.
Pawn shop surveillance video reviewed by detectives in Methuen and Salem showed Limone arriving at 12:08 p.m. in a green 1998 Mercury Sable, or roughly a half hour after police were notified of the break.
At 1:45 p.m., Salem police located Limone’s vehicle unattended in the CVS Pharmacy parking lot at 512 South Broadway. The vehicle was later towed by Methuen police for evidence. Found inside the vehicle were several pieces of jewelry and the stolen laptop.