A third break-in occurred on Haggetts Pond Road on Monday, April 14, when someone pried open a rear door, entered the house and stole jewelry at around 10:25 a.m. In that case, a neighbor saw two men park in the driveway and walk around to the backyard.
The neighbor was able to get a license plate, which she gave to police, who are following up on leads although no arrests have been made. The only description of a possible suspect is a white male driving a small, green vehicle.
Higginbottom assured residents that in most cases, the would-be burglars would rather enter a home unnoticed, grab whatever is handy and valuable and then leave. He said the items are then usually sold at area pawn shops, with the money used to buy drugs.
So far, however, none of the items stolen in the three most recent incidents, or a fourth one earlier in the year also on the west side of town, have been recovered.
Higginbottom tried to stress to the crowd that the town is not facing a crisis.
“We’ve had six house breaks in town since Jan. 1,” he said. “Four on the west side of town. In 2013, there were 45 house breaks in a year.”
Five years ago, during the economic downturn in 2008, there were four or five house breaks a week, police said.
“Are we having an epidemic?” he said. “No.”
But, he added, “if you are a victim, it is a panic” situation.
One couple who attended the meeting said their Bailey Road house was broken into.
“Our son found it,” said the husband, who didn’t want his name used. “He came home and saw that the house had been broken into. He didn’t go in.”
Instead, he called his parents who called the police.