NORTH CHELMSFORD, Mass. - A string of brazen daytime burglaries has alarmed North Chelmsford police and investigators say they are connected.
Police there say the burglars are kicking in doors and grabbing anything valuable in sight.
“You can actually see the pry mark here on the door, they had broken all this out,” a man named Joe said as he showed Boston 25 News through his home Thursday.
He says he is still scared. He didn’t want us to use his last name or reveal where he lives. Police say he was the first victim in a series of break-ins this week, all within a few blocks of each other.
“So they bashed this one in, to the point where the frame was splintered and on the floor here,” he said. I mean this is your sanctuary, this is your home, right? It’s horrible to think whoever these cretins were in my kid’s bedroom.”
Sometime Tuesday afternoon, while Joe was out with his family, the thieves smashed their way through three doors. Joe says they made off with jewelry, cameras, an iPhone and a Nintendo system.
Joe told us the burglars tried to get in to the house first through one of his windows. When he came home on Tuesday he says he noticed the screen from this window was on the ground and when he picked it up he saw that it was bent.
He soon found out he’s not the only victim. Police say the burglars struck again Wednesday, breaking into another home down the street and trying, but failing, to get inside another.
Chelmsford Deputy Police Chief Daniel Ahern said he believes the driving force behind them may be the ongoing opioid epidemic.
“[They’re] normally addiction driven,” Chief Ahern explained. “They’re just trying to feed that addiction, and they’re struggling with that.”
He says he believes the break-ins are linked because they have the same characteristics.
“I mean the big thing right now is the opioid crisis. These junkies looking to grab whatever they can sell,” Joe said. “I mean, the other half of that is — everybody feels bad for the addicts — but what about the victims of the crime that are feeding the addict’s addiction? Right? We’re victims, too.”
He says the experience has changed his family forever. They never had a weapon inside the house before, but now joe says he’s looking to get a permit to get a gun.
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