By Katina Caraganis
LUNENBURG -- Police Chief James Marino, at Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting, praised the work of a quick-thinking resident who called police about a suspicious person on Goodrich Street and thwarted a slew of burglaries.
Marino said that on July 25, Officer Sean Zrate responded to a report of a suspicious person at 564 Goodrich St.
The resident told Zrate that a woman had knocked on the door asking to speak to a person by the name of Sarah. The homeowner found it to be suspicious because nobody by that name lives at the residence.
She was able to provide a description of the suspect and her vehicle to a dispatcher.
Zrate observed a vehicle matching the description parked in a driveway at 545 Goodrich St. The car door was open, and the front door of the residence was ajar, according to Marino.
He called for backup from Lunenburg officers, Shirley police and state police.
The three Lunenburg officers entered the home and found evidence that it had been burglarized. Within minutes, Marino said, two of the suspects were apprehended. One had fled on foot into the woods, and another was found in the back seat of the car in the driveway.
A short time later, he said, a third suspect was arrested by a Shirley police officer.
"While in the process of apprehending the suspects, two more burglaries were reported which were later linked to these suspects," Marino said. "The keen observation skills and situational awareness of Officer Zrate and other officers resulted in the recovery of a large amount of stolen property and the arrest of these suspects who were charged with numerous counts of burglary in Lunenburg and at least two other neighboring communities."
Marino said without the help of the resident and the other agencies, the situation could have been much worse, and the crime may never have been solved.
"The level of information provided and the spirit of cooperation exhibited by the reporting party, and the tenacious efforts of the officers during the incident, along with the massive follow-up investigation, which involved other law-enforcement agencies as well, was impressive to say the least," he said.