More downtown Turners Falls break-ins

Cop says heroin addiction likely behind latest trend

TURNERS FALLS — Downtown businesses saw a fresh string of break-ins, four attempted and two successful, Saturday night through Monday morning.

Leon “Lee” Laster of the Montague Police Department said police have not yet arrested anyone but are following up on evidence left behind and a trail found by the Erving Police bloodhound.

“We have the usual suspects that we’re in the process of trying to round up and there was some good physical evidence left behind at the scene so there’s a good chance we may be able to pinpoint our guy who’s responsible, and clearly I believe it’s the same person,” Laster said.

Laster said apparent attempts to break into Pipione’s Sport Shop, 101 Avenue A Saturday night, and the Montague Parks and Recreation office in Unity Park; Couture Brothers, 187 Avenue A; and the St. Kazimierz Society, 197 Avenue A Sunday night into Monday morning were unsuccessful.

A caller from 65 Canal St., a residence and Carriage House Designs, reported a successful break in Sunday morning and a Monday morning caller reported a break in at Shanahan Construction Co. Supply Co., according to the police log.

Laster said someone had attempted to pry open the doors in most instances, removing the door at the Canal Street business and breaking a window to gain entry to Shanahan’s.

Laster said what was taken remained to be determined by shop inventories.

There have been several spates of break-ins targeting downtown businesses last year and this, crime Laster attributes to heroin addiction.

“I hate to pinpoint a drug but that’s the honest-to-god truth, it’s the heroin, opiates, they need a fix and this is what they do,” Laster said. “If you’ve paid attention every time we’ve had B&Es, the person that we wind up catching, they have a problem with drugs.”

Laster said the modus operandi is pretty consistent, with suspects trying multiple buildings and moving on if they fail.

“They’ll wind up hitting maybe five or six places in a night, who has the energy or the strength to do that? But that’s how bad their addiction is,” Laster said.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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