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Arrest made related to Leverett, Shutesbury break-ins

LEVERETT — An arrest has been made in connection with the recent string of burglaries in Leverett and Shutesbury.

Jonathan J. Coe, 29, of 374 Middle St. in Amherst was arrested on a warrant Thursday night by the Amherst Police Department.

Leverett Police Chief Gary Billings said Coe was identified as a suspect in the June 25 break-in of a home on Shutesbury Road through an investigation led by Sgt. Scott Minckler of the Leverett Police Department. He said forensic evidence developed by the Massachusetts State Police, including fingerprints, was used to connect Coe to the break-in.

Billings said over $2,000 worth of power tools that Coe is alleged to have stolen from the residence were recovered in a Springfield pawn shop by officers from the Springfield Police Department and will be returned to his department.

Coe was held on $10,000 bail and arraigned Friday in Orange District Court. He faces a felony charge of breaking and entering, as well as charges of larceny over $250 and malicious destruction over $250.

“We believe this may be tied to the Shutesbury break-ins as well,” said Billings.

According to a press release from the Shutesbury Police Department, Shutesbury and Leverett have seen a rash of burglaries since June 24. The first incident, in which tools and a firearm were stolen after a house was entered through the garage and unlocked doors, occurred that day on Upper Leverett Road in Shutesbury. A second burglary happened soon after at a house in Leverett, where tools were also stolen.

The next day, a Montague Road residence in Shutesbury was entered through a door that had been left open and jewelry “of significant value” was stolen. The State Police Crime Scene Services Unit was called to that home, but did not find any evidence.

A fourth incident occurred in Shutesbury on July 3. A woman reported that two suspicious people had pulled into her driveway. She told police the vehicle’s occupants asked her where to find Lake Wyola when she approached them, and that she gave them directions.

Next, they pulled into her neighbor’s driveway, and she again approached them, this time asking whether they had understood her directions. They said they were looking for the public boat ramp, and left the area. The woman said the pair looked nervous as she spoke with them, and reported their vehicle’s license plate number to police.

The next incident occurred on July 7, when a home on Wendell Road was entered through an unlocked window and jewlery was taken. Evidence that scene was sent to the state police crime lab for analysis. Police believe the break-in was committed by the same people from the June 25 Montague Road burglary as well as the suspicious vehicle on Wendell Road.

A 52-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman were identified as suspects. The man is described as 6 feet tall with blue eyes and graying brown hair. The woman is about 5-foot-3, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Police said they may be driving either an older green Honda Accord or a brown or gold Chevrolet Cavalier or Impala, all with Massachusetts plates.

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