LAWRENCE — A reputed street gang member who police said they believe was involved in ATM thefts in Pelham, N.H., and other area towns was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in Lawrence District Court yesterday.
David Barker, 31, of 25 Whittier Drive, Fremont, N.H., was arrested without incident at 6:33 p.m. Sunday on Woodland Street in Lawrence on a default warrant out of Haverhill District Court and a fugitive from justice warrant on burglary and criminal mischief charges from Pelham police.
The Pelham charges are connected to an incident on July 23. On that date, Pelham police Lt. Gary Fisher said Barker broke into Ray's State Line convenience store on Mammoth Road between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., when the store was closed, and got away with $13,000 in cash from an automated teller machine, cash register and a safe in the store.
Barker, believed to be a member of the Latin Gangsta Disciples, and another individual, who was not identified, forced their way in through the roof and broke open the ATM, cash register and the safe, Fisher said.
There were two other burglaries around the same time at Express Pizza and Northeast Pets on Bridge Street in Pelham, which police said they believe were diversions for the Ray's State Line store break-in.
Barker also faces charges out of Derry, N.H. Last April, Barker and another man, Ricardo Tejeda, 25, of 123 Lowell St., Methuen, were arrested when Derry police caught them breaking into an EZ-Cash store on Route 28. The two men were loading items into a gray Honda Odyssey minivan at 9:57 p.m., police said.
Investigators found pry bars, sledgehammers, screw drivers, pliers and cable cutters in the van.
That same minivan was caught on security video during a smash-and-grab robbery at the New Hampshire State Liquor Store in Londonderry during which a safe was stolen. The van, New Hampshire police said, was registered to Barker.
Lawrence District Court Judge Lynne Rooney ordered Barker held without bail yesterday and sent to Haverhill District Court to address the default warrants there. He will be arraigned on the Haverhill warrants today, said Steve O'Connell, spokesman for the Essex district attorney's office.
According to court records, Barker has agreed to return to New Hampshire voluntarily and is expected to be picked up in Haverhill by New Hampshire authorities after his arraignment. Rooney ordered Barker to return to court on April 1 if New Hampshire authorities had not picked him up by then.
Barker is not yet charged with any of the ATM robberies or commercial burglaries that took place in Lawrence over the past couple of years.
"We haven't connected him to anything, but he is a person of interest," Lawrence police Chief John Romero said yesterday.
He said police have a group of 29 men they are looking at in connection with the two-year epidemic of ATM thefts and commercial burglaries. He said the entire New England area, from Maine to Connecticut and Rhode Island, has been plagued with the ATM thefts, robberies and commercial burglaries involving safes for two years.
Staff writer John Basilesco contributed to this report.