Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 10, 2014

Suspicious man prompts police search

A suspicious man seen running from a garage in a section of town hit by several housebreaks this spring set off a police search on Monday.

The search was initiated after a contractor saw a man running from the garage of the home he was working on at the corner of Pleasant Street and Bailey Road.

The man was described as being in his 40s, wearing a white T-shirt and red shoes, according to scanner reports. He took off into the woods around 3:30 p.m.

“When (the contractor) came out of the home, he saw a man standing next to his work van,” Commander Charles Heseltine said.

“When the unknown man saw the contractor, he fled into the woods. Officers checked the area and did not locate anyone. Nothing was reported stolen from the vehicle.”

Police also searched the yards behind homes on Old Schoolhouse Road and Pleasant Street before calling off the search by around 4:15 p.m. They, however, continued to send patrols into the neighborhood.

The area was the scene of several midday housebreaks earlier this year. A house on Bailey Road was robbed in March. In April, a house on nearby Greybirch Road was burglarized. Later in April, a house on Haggetts Pond Road was broken into. In most cases, electronics and jewelry were taken during the break-ins.

The rash of break-ins led to a community meeting attended by several hundred nervous residents. During one of the break-ins, a teenage girl was at home, leading residents to believe that the burglars could pose a threat to their personal safety.

Police said during the public forum that in most cases, the burglars are junkies looking for empty homes so that they can run in, grab some valuables and run out. The suspects usually then sell the stolen items for some quick cash to buy drugs, police said.

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