Arrest made in Northfield vehicle theft, break-ins

Staff Writer
Published: 2/26/2020 5:47:10 PM
Modified: 2/26/2020 5:46:59 PM

NORTHFIELD — An arrest has been made in relation to a string of vehicle break-ins and one vehicle theft in town.

According to Northfield Police Chief Robert Leighton, a 33-year-old man was taken into custody in Brattleboro, Vt., on Tuesday. Leighton said the suspect — who he declined to identify in advance of the suspect’s planned arraignment Friday in Greenfield District Court — will be temporarily held by Vermont authorities.

The arrest warrant out of Northfield, Leighton said, was for larceny of a motor vehicle. The investigations for the string of vehicle break-ins are still ongoing, but Leighton said the suspect “was definitely involved.”

“They ended up with 21 different charges against them in relation to the recent vehicle break-ins,” Leighton said.

Earlier this month, the Police Department received more than a dozen reports of vehicles being entered during the night over a two-week period. In many of the cases, money and credit cards were taken, along with other items.

On Feb. 12, the Police Department received a report of a vehicle stolen from Main Street. Leighton said officers worked many hours on this case, not only collecting evidence, but also increasing patrol times in an effort to locate the suspect. Police were able to track the suspect after he used a stolen credit card at a store in Brattleboro.

“Officers went through a lot of security footage from both residents and stores where the offender had been,” Leighton added.

Officers also collected DNA samples from the stolen vehicle, Leighton said. The collected DNA is being analyzed by the State Police Crime Lab and will potentially be used as evidence in the prosecution.

Northfield Police Officers Jeremy Lawler and Derek Worden covered extra time on patrol in Northfield, while Sgt. Alexander Pirozhkov and Officer Oleg Cobileanschi worked on the investigation, Leighton said. In addition to Brattleboro, the investigation spanned into Hinsdale, N.H., with similar offenses occurring there as well.

According to the Leighton, home security systems were “invaluable in identifying this party.” At the time of the vehicle entries, many of the victims told police that their doors had been unlocked, stating they felt comfortable because “this is Northfield.”

“Don’t allow yourself become a victim of theft,” the Northfield Police Department wrote in a Facebook post alerting residents of the arrest. “Secure your home and property by locking your doors and report all suspicious activity to the NPD.”

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

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