By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — An alert resident helped police make an arrest in connection with the theft of belongings from cars early yesterday morning, according to Lt. Charles Gray.
The resident called police at 1 a.m. after seeing a man opening the door of a car on Surrey Lane, Gray said. Officers Brian Faye and Scott Whittaker went to the scene, followed footprints and found the suspect hiding behind a tree, according to Gray.
After a brief investigation, Michael Robertson, 23, of 497 Sutton St., was arrested and charged with three felony counts of breaking and entering in the night, two felony counts of receiving stolen property over $250 and a single count of receiving stolen property under $250.
Robertson was arraigned in Lawrence District Court yesterday. Gray said the alertness of the resident who called police was a key factor in capturing a suspect. The promptness and efficiency of Whittaker and Faye were also essential in bringing about the arrest, he said.
Again, he reiterated a warning he and Chief Paul Gallagher have expressed to the community numerous times: Residents need to lock their cars — and not keep valuables in them. During the last few weeks, dozens of thefts from unlocked cars have been reported to police.
In some cases, valuable items such as GPS devices, iPhones and iPads have been stolen.
In many instances, cars have merely been entered, the belongings inside rummaged through, but nothing stolen.
A 922 Salem St. resident had $130 in cash stolen from a wallet he had left inside his unlocked vehicle. The theft was reported to police at 5:58 a.m. Monday.
Several other thefts from unlocked cars were also reported to police Monday morning:
99 Weyland Circle – a pair of sunglasses and a knife
874 Salem St. – two iPads and a watch
105 Weyland Circle – a blue iPhone
895 Salem St. – loose change and jewelry
35 Huckleberry Lane – jewelry
A car parked at 910 Salem St. was merely rummaged through, with nothing reported stolen, according to the police log.