HARVARD --Police are investigating multiple break-ins on Sheep Island after a homeowner called to report a breaking and entering.

Officer Timothy Schaeffer walked across the solid ice on Bare Hill Pond after the call came in on Feb. 1 at about 12:45 p.m.

Schaeffer noticed all five cottages had been broken into with "a decent amount of damage," and also saw campfires on the ice and the island.

The fires looked recent, but Schaeffer said it did not look like anything was taken from the houses.

The police have no new developments, but are sending out some evidence for testing.

"We recovered some things that we're going to fingerprint, but that's as far as I have right now," Schaeffer said.

The results of the prints could take months, he said.

Only one local Ayer resident owns a cottage on the island -- the rest of the owners are not from town.

Schaeffer recommended that residents take belongings out of the cottages if they are going to be left alone all winter.

The area is a summer hotspot for kayaking, boating and swimming. In the winter months, residents can even go ice fishing and ice-skating if the pond is thoroughly frozen over.

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