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MAP String of burglaries puts Shutesbury residents on alert

Jewelry, tools and a firearm are among the items take in the break-ins.

Police have three suspects in mind, and believe they’re responsible for two of four burglaries reported in Shutesbury and Leverett since June 24.

The first two thefts were reported June 24.

Thieves stole tools and a firearm from an Upper Leverett Road home in Shutesbury. Police said the home’s doors and garage had been left unlocked.

In the same time frame, residents of a Leverett home reported that tools had been stolen there as well.

Police from both towns worked together to identify three suspects, and warrants have been issued for their arrest, according to a news release from Shutesbury Police.

Another break-in was reported on Montague Road in Shutesbury the following day. That home was also entered through an open door, and jewelry of “significant value” was taken. The State Police Crime Scene Unit was called to investigate, but Shutesbury Police report no significant evidence was found to develop a subject.

Alert citizens may have stopped the thieves’ next attempt.

On July 3, a caller from the area of Wendell Road and Ames Haven Road said two suspicious people pulled into her driveway and, when approached, asked for directions to Lake Wyola, which she gave them. Then, she said, they pulled into her neighbor’s driveway.

She approached them again, and asked if they hadn’t understood her directions. They told her they were looking for the lake’s boat ramp and left the area. She thought they seemed nervous and suspicious, took down their plate number and called police.

Police in Shutesbury and Leverett both looked for the car, and could not find it. Checking its tags, they found that it was a rental, and the rental agency identified both occupants. Both are known to police from prior dealings.

Four days later, thieves struck again.

On July 7, a resident of the 100 block of Wendell Road reported that someone had entered the home through an unlocked window between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The resident reported that the house’s doors were locked, as well as all but a single window.

A large amount of “high value” jewelry was taken, but other items were undisturbed, the resident reported.

Evidence from that incident was sent to the state police crime lab for analysis. Police believe the break-in was committed by the same people from the June 25 Montague Road burglary as well as the suspicious vehicle on Wendell Road.

A 52-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman were identified as suspects. The man is described as 6 feet tall with blue eyes and graying brown hair. The woman is about 5 foot 3, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Police advise that they may be driving either an older green Honda Accord or a brown or gold Chevrolet Cavalier or Impala, all with Massachusetts plates.

Police ask residents to lock their doors and windows even when leaving home for a short time. If you will be out of town for an extended period, police advise you to let your neighbors know so they can keep an eye on your house. You can also request that police check in on your house during vacation.

Shutesbury Police can be reached at 259-1279, and Leverett Police are at 548-4994.

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