BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Bridgewater Police have made an arrest just hours after asking local businesses to check their security system and protocols after a string of recent break-ins at local businesses.
"Some of the simple things like take a look at your alarm system, take a look at your surveillance systems, your methods taken to prepare business, maybe it’s leaving cash drawers open and empty without cash in them," said Bridgewater Police Chief Chris Delmonte.
Police say five break-ins have been reported at local businesses just a few miles apart this week. On Friday, police announced 46-year-old Theodore Kernan of Bridgewater was arrested and charged in four of the break-ins.
"The nature of the breaks are similar, we don’t know whether or not they are related, but obviously that’s one of the things we are investigating," Delmonte said.
On Wednesday at approximately 8:40 a.m., police were notified of a forced entry break-in at Bridgewater Farm Supply at 1000 Plymouth St.
Hours earlier, at approximately 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, police were notified by employees of the Dunkin Donuts at 955 Pleasant St. that someone had broken into the building overnight. Video surveillance captured a white man use a tire iron to smash a drive-thru window and then crawl inside, police said. The man stole cash and then fled.
Three businesses also reported break-ins earlier in the week, on Monday.
Around 10:40 a.m. Monday, police received a 911 call from King Garden, 220 Winter St., with an employee reporting that the restaurant was broken into and money was stolen.
Around 9:10 a.m. Monday, a break-in was reported at the Bridgewater Auto Wash, 1355 Pleasant St., where money was stolen. Police have not made an arrest yet in this incident. They believe it is not connected to other crimes.
Also around 9:10 a.m. Monday, Bridgewater Police received a call from a manager at the Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center, 134 Main St., reporting that someone had broken into the building and stole money from a locked safe inside an office.
"It’s shocking how often somebody would be desperate enough to rob from a charity organization," Delmonte said.
It's the first time that has happened at the Salvation Army location.
"It’s incredibly frustrating. We’re working hard to help people. The money here is used directly to help people in need and to have somebody cause property damage, to break in, to take from our safe, our safe feels violated," said Salvation Army Capt. Mark Ferreira.
Surveillance video helped police track down a vehicle used in the incidents. They were able to tie that car to Kernan
Kernan was charged with four counts of breaking and entering into a building in the nighttime for a felony, four counts of malicious destruction of property under $1,200, and three counts of larceny under $1,200.
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