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Craigslist ad helps Quincy police find alleged car robber

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 25, 2012 11:33 AM

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Quincy Police arrested a Quincy resident for larceny on Wednesday after the victim reported seeing his stolen goods advertised on Craigslist.

According to police, on Wednesday at 9 a.m., a man came into the police station saying that his car had been broken into.

The man parked his car at his residence on Furnace Brook Parkway, but didn’t lock the doors. He went in at around 11 p.m., and around 2 a.m. heard a car door slam but didn’t think much of it.

However, when the victim went to his car at around 6 a.m. to get quarters for his laundry, he discovered that someone had entered his vehicle. Approximately $10 in quarters, a few winning scratch tickets, and employee ID, and a GPS were all taken, he reported.

The victim checked Craigslist and discovered that a GPS, the same model and make of the one taken from his car, was posted online at 2:30 a.m. that morning, police said.

When police called the phone number, the woman who answered the phone said the man they were seeking wasn't available. Police told the victim to find a serial number to try to identify the GPS.

Detectives called the victim later that day to follow up, and the victim told police that a friend of his had called the suspect’s number and left a message about the GPS. A man had returned the call and said he was willing to sell it, police said.

Detectives ran the phone number and subsequent address associated with the number through a data base, discovering that police knew the suspect from previous investigations.

Police subsequently coordinated with the victim and the friend to obtain the GPS. The exchange was to happen at McGinn’s Service Station on Newport Avenue later Wednesday afternoon.

Police said that when the suspect approach the victim, detectives approached the party, informing him why they were there.

The victim then positively identified the GPS, showing officers his work address, home address, and a Lincoln, N.H., address programmed in to the device that the victim said would be there.

The suspect eventually admitted to breaking into the vehicle, police said. Police also found a bag containing a large amount of quarters and a winning scratch ticket on the suspect. The victim identified all of it as property stolen from his vehicle.

Paul L. Burns, 21, from Quincy, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering into a motor vehicle in the nighttime and receiving stolen property over $250.

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