EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 10, 2008

Savings swiped from new parents leaving hospital

Dennis Deschamp and his girlfriend Ashley English started saving every penny when they learned they were having a baby.

Living with English's mother, the couple stopped going out and spending on luxuries.

"I haven't even gotten a haircut in a year," said Deschamp, 25, of 287 South Broadway, Apt. 2, Lawrence.

English, 20, gave birth to a healthy boy, Zachery Micheal, last Friday. Unfortunately, somebody stole $8,000 from the couple two days later.

"That was every dollar we had," Deschamp said.

Deschamp closed the couple's savings account in order to put the money in a CD at Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, where they would earn a 5 percent interest rate. Deschamp and English planned to deposit their savings — $6,500 in cash and about $1,500 worth of checks from their baby shower — into the CD.

Before they went to the credit union, Deschamp and English stopped at English's doctor in North Andover for a quick check-up. There, English was told her blood pressure was high and she needed to go to Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen.

Medical staff at the hospital told her they were going to break her water and induce labor, Deschamp said.

"My girlfriend wasn't due for another week. We were not expecting that to happen whatsoever," Deschamp said.

Deschamp never had time to go to the credit union, so he kept the money in a black lock box with him at the hospital and under watchful eye.

When it came time to leave the hospital with his girlfriend and their new son on Sunday, Deschamp carried the lock box out of the hospital in a baby blue gift bag with baby outfits on top. He also carried another bag and a large box containing a baby swing.

Deschamp set the two bags down in the parking lot while he carried the box about 30 feet to his SUV. He loaded the box into his vehicle in less than a minute, he said.

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