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Ice cream stand among targets of break-in spree

SUNDERLAND — Police continue to build a case against three area men arrested this week and suspected in a rash of break-ins of businesses in several Pioneer Valley towns.

The Sugar Loaf Frostee and Jenks Repair Service are the local victims of the crime spree, Sunderland Police Chief Jeffrey Gilbert said Friday. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the Frostee, and some rare or historic coins stolen from Jenks, said Gilbert, though more items may be added to that list.

Gilbert said the business’ owners are still determining what was taken, and how much damage was done in the break-ins, which occurred between midnight and 1 a.m. Thursday.

A container of rolled coins reported taken from the Frostee matched the description of a container of coins found in plain view in the vehicle used by the suspects, according to Montague Police.

There is one key similarity that Gilbert feels links his town’s break-ins to many of the others.

The power to both businesses was cut by removing external electric meters. However, it didn’t stop burglar alarms from going off.

The meter was also removed at Leader Home Center in Greenfield, where a safe was stolen between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

In a Bernardston burglary, Bob Cook Excavating was broken into, and “several thousand dollars” stolen from its safe, according to Bernardston Police Chief James Palmeri. The meter at Cook’s was not removed, but other similarities exist.

Footprints at the scene of that burglary, which happened sometime before the business opened Monday, seem to match prints left at the scene of the attempted break-in of Sirum’s Equipment in Montague that led to the arrest of the three men.

Though the men were arrested in Montague, police believe they’re responsible for successful burglaries in Sunderland, Greenfield, Bernardston and Amherst as well.

“These arrests are the result of really good police work all around,” said Gilbert.

Now that the three suspects have been arraigned for an attempted break-in in Montague, and are being held on bail, police can work to build strong cases against the suspects for the other break-ins.

“The more evidence we have, the better,” said Gilbert.

Patrick Boyer, 26, Michael R. Boyer, 23, and Sean Rattigan, 19, were arrested in Montague in the early morning hours Thursday. Each was charged with destruction of property, attempted breaking and entering, and carrying burglarious tools.

Currently, the three have only been charged in connection with the attempted break-in at Sirum’s, but police expect more charges to follow.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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