By Lisa Redmond

MediaNews

LOWELL -- After breaking into his neighbor's Chelmsford home, stealing cash and a safe with two guns inside, police allege Gerald Taddeo left his size-12 1/2 boot prints inside and outside the scene, leading police to his back door.

Chelmsford police say they responded Friday morning to a Biscayne Drive home for a report of a larceny. The resident told police $1,100 was taken from his dresser. His safe, which contained two guns and ammunition, was taken from his closet.

A back slider door appeared to have been pried open. Police found a large footprint, size 12 1/2, on the rug.

In Lowell District Court on Monday, Taddeo, 20, of 20 Biscayne Drive, Chelmsford, was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to larceny over $250 and breaking and entering a building during the daytime for a felony.

His next court date is a pretrial conference May 8.

Chelmsford police state in court documents that the victim told police his son knew about the money and the firearms in the safe. Taddeo, his son's friend and neighbor, also knew about the money and safe, police said.

One neighbor told police she was out running when she saw a man wearing a blue sweatshirt walking out of the victim's backyard heading toward the Taddeo home.

When Taddeo was questioned, he told police he was at the mall with a friend. Taddeo allegedly told police he wouldn't be involved in a house break into the neighbor's home because he thinks highly of the neighbor, considering him sort of a "father figure," he allegedly told police.

In checking the outside of the Taddeo home, police said they found boot prints that were the same size as the ones found inside the victim's home, according to court documents.

"The footprints went from Taddeo's backyard to the back door of the (victim's) house," police wrote.

In searching Taddeo's home, they found a pair of black Timberland boots that had the same pattern on the sole as the boot print inside the victim's home, according to court documents.

Another witness in the case, Taddeo's friend, told police he picked up his friend to go pick up drugs. Taddeo allegedly told his friend to act as a lookout while Taddeo broke into the home.

A short time later, the witness saw Taddeo walk into his home with a black safe under his shirt, court documents state. Taddeo allegedly took the safe to his basement and used an ax to open it, documents state.

Inside the safe, the witness said he saw two revolvers, ammunition and a stack of $20 bills, document state. Taddeo then put the firearms in a plastic bag and hid it in the ceiling, court documents state. Taddeo took the cash and the pair drove to Haverhill so Taddeo could pick up Percocet pills, documents state.

The friend received a tank of gas and some cigarettes for his help, police said.

Police retrieved the firearms from the basement ceiling, police said.