Victims awake to intruder in home in string of Newton break-ins

NEWTON, Mass. — Police are investigating six home break-ins that happened Monday night in the Waban and Newton Highlands areas.

In at least three of the burglaries, residents were home.

Married couple Rose and Steve, 80 and 82 years old, were home sleeping when a man broke in around 9 p.m. He had used a crowbar to pry open a kitchen window while standing on the back patio before he hopped inside and crept up the stairs undetected.

But Rose suddenly discovered him poking around with a flashlight near the bedroom where her husband was sleeping.

“I said, ‘Who is that? Who is that?’” Rose recalled to Boston 25 News. “He went.”

“By the time I got up and got my walker, that person disappeared,” Steve added. “He ran down the steps and opened the front door and left the house.”

The burglar ran away empty-handed, but he wasn’t done. Police believe the spree lasted about three hours.

“I don’t sleep,” Rose said of her lingering fear two days later. “I am sick. That never happened in our life. Never.”

Less than an hour after officers responded to the couple’s home, a resident of Harrison Street called police from a neighbor’s house after she heard two intruders upstairs in her home while she was alone in the basement. She later discovered diamond earrings and an iPhone were missing.

Two of the six burglaries were discovered the following day but are also believed to have occurred Monday between 8 and 11 p.m. Investigators believe the same person or persons are responsible, and they are looking into the possibility other area burglaries in past weeks are connected.

Newton police are asking anyone with information about the crimes to come forward. They are also urging residents to take precautions in and around their homes, including locking all doors and windows, installing outdoor flood lights and keeping chairs, ladders and other objects away from outdoor spaces so as not to make it easier for burglars to climb in through windows.

“Newton in the last 20 years, safest city in America about three times,” said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker. “If it can happen in Newton, it can happen anywhere.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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