WPD closes ranks on wide-ranging theft ring

Thursday, January 14, 2010
By Joe Domelowicz

Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty took the time last week to reach out to his peers in three neighboring communities, to inform them of a wide-ranging theft ring comprised of young adult males and juveniles, that have allegedly been operating for up to a year in communities North of Boston.

The uncovered theft ring has apparently been using teams of young men to roam the streets of local communities to break into cars and steal valuables left their by the vehicle owners.

In a span of two week, beginning just before Christmas, Winthrop Police officers have stopped groups of six and four young men and placed six other young men under arrest in a third incident, after noticing suspicious behavior in Winthrop neighborhoods after dark.

In a letter to Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, Revere Chief Terrence Reardon and Everett Chief Steven Mazzie, Delehanty described the three incidents and provided the names of 13 young men who were either stopped by local police or arrested in connection with car break-ins and stolen property over the course of that time.

“I am writing to inform you that my officers have recently identified a large group of people who have admitted to being involved in an organized ring of people breaking and entering to motor vehicles,” said Chief Delehanty in the letter. “Some of these individuals could have committed similar crimes in your community or may even reside in your community.”

In total Winthrop Police identified four East Boston residents, four Chelsea residents and two Malden residents, who were either stopped and questioned by police or placed under arrest for breaking into motor vehicle and possession of stolen property.

In the most recent incident, on Wednesday, January 6, Officers Brown, Oyola and Holden arrested six men – Anastacio Rivera, 19 of 58 Crescent Ave., Christopher Rivera, 18, of 58 Crescent Ave., Chelsea, Charlie Alexander, 19, of 238 Chestnut Street, Chelsea, Mariano Rodriquez, 19, of 97 Shurtleff Street #3, Juan Troncoso, 20, of 7 Ashland Street #2, Malden, and Ramon Berberena, 18, of 24 Bowdoin Street #1, Malden on the above charges, after finding the men walking the streets of Winthrop carrying bags that contained stolen property from Winthrop motor vehicles.

Anastacio and Christopher Rivera and Charlie Alexander were all field stopped by Winthrop Police on December 28, when they were similarly noticed roaming the streets of the town. However, the officers had no cause to take them into custody on that occasion and the three were released.

Following their arrests on January 6, Delehanty informed the other chiefs, that one of the suspects, in an interview with detectives “stated that they were part of a large organized ring that has been operating on the North Shore for over a year and that they would use cell phones to text each other when they would go out ‘shopping’.” _Text messages on the phones of the suspects appeared to show that other co-conspirators were committing similar crimes in New Hampshire as well, and Chief Delehanty told the Transcript that Winthrop detectives are in contact with law enforcement officials there as well.

The other communities the crime ring appears to have been operating in includes Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden and Manchester, New Hampshire.

The first field stop by Winthrop Police that appears related to this crime ring took place on Christmas Eve, December 24, when Winthrop Police stopped four East Boston residents, including one juvenile, who were noticed walking the streets of the town with empty black backpacks. The four suspects had no positive identification on them, but they did give names and addresses in East Boston. However, similar to the December 28 incident, Winthrop Police were forced to release the four men, because they had no cause to detain them.

The case is still under investigation.

“This situation does go to prove that random patrols do work and that visibility is an important part of our task in discovering and deterring crime,” said Chief Delehanty. “The officers who made these arrests and those who conducted the field stops on two earlier occasions all helped to uncover this on-going crime ring.”

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