EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

November 13, 2013

Derry business owners concerned about thefts

Victims say they wish police would do more

DERRY — Some local garage owners are frustrated with recent thefts at their businesses.

They are even more frustrated because they think they know who the thief is and they say police do, too.

“The thing I’m aggravated about is they know this guy and know where he lives,” said Al Heath, owner of A.B. Heath & Sons Auto Repair at 13 South Ave.

But Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas said yesterday his department is doing what it can to solve all thefts, as long as they have been reported to police.

Heath said the string of thefts at three Derry shops began Oct. 7 when a man, whom he has known for years, came into his shop and tried to sell him a portable battery pack.

“I kind of showed him out the door,” Heath said.

Then Heath noticed his $400 cell phone had disappeared from the counter. Since no one else was in the shop, Heath said he knew the man took it.

Heath said he was able to track the phone to a kiosk at The Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester that offers cash for used phones.

He reported the theft to Derry police, but said he was told there was nothing they could do.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the man, whose identity is being withheld, Thomas said yesterday. He wouldn’t reveal any charges the man faces because the theft at Heath & Sons is still under investigation.

Thomas said that was the only incident his department has been asked to investigate.

“I can’t talk about it,” Thomas said. “I’m disappointed that people think we are not doing our jobs. We have to be thorough and make sure we have the right people.”

In the last few weeks, Heath happened to speak to two other local garage owners who said they also had thefts at their businesses. They believe it was the same man.

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