Pittsfield police investigating rash of daytime burglaries

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Posted July 20, 2010, at 11:44 a.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Police are seeking help from the public in an attempt to solve a rash of recent burglaries that they said happened in broad daylight.

Pittsfield Patrol Officer Marty Cochran said three homes have been broken into in the past week by a person or people who appear to be targeting empty residences. Cochran said the brazen burglaries — at least two of which occurred in areas visible to neighbors — have him worried about what will happen if the burglar or burglars find someone home during one of their break-ins.

“We’re trying to get the word out to people to keep their doors and windows locked,” said Cochran. “If there’s someone home alone, like an elderly person or a child, their family or friends should check on them.”

The first of the three recent break-ins happened last Wednesday on Hartland Avenue. One or more people removed an air conditioner and broke in through a back window. The homeowner returned to find a television, computer, change and a cell phone missing.

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The second burglary occurred Thursday on Spring Road. The burglar or burglars used a ladder to climb on top of a roof — in full view of neighbors if they had been looking — and entered the home through an open upstairs bathroom window. As in the previous day’s burglary, rooms in the home had been ransacked. When the burglar or burglars opened a door to leave, the home’s alarm went off.

“That helped scare them away,” said Cochran. Still, some change and jewelry were missing from the home. A neighbor reported seeing a small, light-colored car, possibly tan, but the vehicle’s make and model were unknown.

On Monday, another home was burglarized on outer Main Street, heading toward Burnham. Someone kicked in a side door of the residence, which triggered an alarm. Nothing was missing from that home, said Cochran. A police dog was unable to follow a track any farther than the driveway.

Cochran said the burglaries appear to be related because they were carried out during the day in unoccupied homes. He said there might be more homes that have been broken into but have not yet been discovered.

“I guess there’s a chance they aren’t related, but burglaries are rare in Pittsfield,” said Cochran. “I’m afraid that someone is going to get hurt. Eventually they’ll get to a home that isn’t empty.”

Cochran advised residents to lock their doors and windows and to pay attention to unfamiliar people or vehicles in their neighborhoods. He also suggested that in the case of window air conditioners, that homeowners install a stick above the unit to make it impossible to open the window any further.

Anyone who has information about the burglaries or has seen something unusual in their neighborhood is urged to call the Pittsfield Police Department at 487-3101, or dial 911 if a burglary is in progress.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/07/20/news/pittsfield-police-investigating-rash-of-daytime-burglaries/ printed on September 16, 2014