Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 14, 2013

Three cheers for some good newsmakers


But within about 24 hours of their theft, they were back safely with authorities and a 16-year-old juvenile from Lawrence had turned himself in.

Andover police were able to track the suspect by retrieving fingerprints on the FBI agent’s unmarked Suburban SUV SWAT emergency response vehicle and another nearby vehicle that had also been broken into the same evening.

Plenty of questions still remain about where those guns were kept and whether the SWAT vehicle was locked at the time of the theft. While FBI policy allows active SWAT members to store firearms in their vehicles overnight “to facilitate readiness and operational needs,” Andover police Commander Charles Heseltine told The Townsman that in the case of the Suburban SUV in town, “there was no obvious sign of a break.” While Heseltine could not say if the SUV was locked or unlocked, it’s frightening to think there’s any possibility the weapons wouldn’t have been safely secured in the vehicle.

The FBI has ordered an internal investigation, as it does with all cases involving the loss of firearms. The public may never know the specifics that led to this theft, but we imagine the FBI will be reviewing its protocol. We also imagine those involved have learned a valuable lesson and, thankfully, no one was injured in the process.

Final CHEERS go to the members of the Andover Fire Department who responded this week to a mother-to-be in labor at home. With no time to get the woman to the hospital, they jumped into action and helped deliver her baby in the back of an ambulance.

Deputy Fire Chief Keith Weightman said it’s not unusual for the town’s firefighters to have a hand in delivering one or two babies a year. Still, the miracle of bringing a baby into the world is far from commonplace.

And this baby — a healthy boy weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces — will now have a pretty unique story to tell about his arrival for many years to come.

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