Since early in 2014, the City of Boston and surrounding areas have seen an increase in commercial construction site burglaries targeting valuable copper products and high end tools. In several particular burglaries, the suspect and/or suspects have worn dust masks, hard hats, construction vests, and carry shovels to hide their identity and to blend into the area while in the commission of these crimes. Also during these burglaries, video surveillance showed a white pick-up truck leaving the area. In many instances, the license plate affixed to the truck was different from the one assigned to the vehicle.
Due to these facts, detectives from the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) initiated an intense and active investigation into these breaks. Detectives were soon able to identify a possible suspect who fit the description of the suspect seen in the surveillance videos, has past employment in the construction industry, has reported to be a member of a construction union, and operated a white pick-up truck. Detectives set up surveillance on this suspect.
At about 7:15 PM on Saturday, March 14, 2015, detectives observed the suspect and his truck inside a closed construction site located off McClellan Highway in District A-7 (East Boston). The Boston Police detectives followed the suspect as he left the site and proceeded on the Mass Pike to the Brighton/Allston exit. Detectives were aware of several reported construction breaks that occurred in this area. After the suspect parked his vehicle in a parking lot in the area of 449 Western Ave in Brighton (District D-14), the detectives observed him exit his vehicle and put on a blue hard hat, dust mask, construction vest, and remove a large bag and gray shovel from the rear bed of the truck. The detectives watched as the suspect entered a second closed construction site on Soldiers Field Road.
Approximately fifteen minutes later, the officers observed the suspect exit the site pulling a plastic barrel on wheels. The suspect put the barrel and its contents into his truck and returned to the construction site. Upon further investigation, detectives observed a number of copper products in plain view in the barrel on the suspect’s truck bed.
When the suspect returned, the detectives placed him under arrest for Breaking and Entering (Nighttime). A search of the vehicle yielded several stolen copper products, a stolen license plate, a cordless grinder, bolt cutters, wire cutters, binoculars, and rolls of gray and black tape among other evidence. Further investigation of the first construction site in East Boston revealed several cut padlocks and bundles of copper piping held together with black tape matching that found in the suspect’s truck.
The 45-year-old male suspect of Melrose was charged with Common Notorious Thief, Breaking and Entering (Nighttime) with Intent to Commit a Felony (2 counts), Larceny over $250.00 (2 counts), Malicious Destruction of Property, Possession of Burglarious Tools, Receiving Stolen Property under $250 (License Plate).