Newbury break-in suspect arrested
Could be linked to twelve cases
Boston police arrested a man yesterday who is believed to be responsible for as many as 12 early morning break-ins at stores on Newbury Street over the past several months.
Police Lieutenant Detective Michael Conley said during a press conference at the South End district station that officers spotted the suspect jumping down from an air conditioning unit on the second floor of the Blvd. Shop at 251 Newbury St. shortly before 2 a.m.
The man was identified as Antonio Roman, 42. He told police he was going to the bathroom, but police noticed that he was “very nervous’’ and “sweating profusely,’’ Conley said.
Police recovered a backpack from Roman that contained a mask and several burglary tools, Conley said, and took him into custody.
“He’s actually implicated himself in numerous commercial breaks in the Newbury Street area,’’ Conley said, adding that police believe he could be responsible for eight to 12 overnight break-ins in the tony shopping district, beginning in May.
Roman’s attorney, Amy Jo Freedman of Boston, declined to comment yesterday.
Conley declined to estimate how much Roman’s alleged robberies netted him in merchandise. But he said one Newbury Street clothing store, Jack Wills, reported about $56,000 worth of merchandise was taken during a recent break-in.
For now, Roman is being charged only in connection with the incident yesterday, police said, but he will probably face more charges.
He was arraigned yesterday in Boston Municipal Court on attempted breaking and entering and possession of burglarious tools, police said. Roman pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $15,000, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.
Prosecutors had recommended $25,000 bail, according to Conley’s office.
Roman has prior convictions in state and federal court for larceny and for breaking and entering, Conley’s spokesman Jake Wark said.
Michael Conley of the Boston police said officers have been staking out many of the alleys on Newbury Street in response to an uptick in overnight break-ins. He would not say whether Roman is believed to have acted alone, but added that he did not attempt to flee when the officers confronted him.
“The officers did a fantastic job,’’ Conley said. “They were secreted away [in the alley], and they got lucky.’’
He laid out many of the items recovered from Roman’s backpack at the press conference, including a pry bar, gloves, and a black mask with eye holes cut into it.
Police also released surveillance photos yesterday of a man believed to be Roman wearing a white mask and stealing merchandise from another store on Newbury Street on July 7.
Conley said police believe that Roman entered the buildings on Newbury between midnight and 6 a.m. and came down through fire escapes. He said Roman may have been targeting stores without burglar alarms.