Wellesley Police are investigating two residential break-ins that occurred over the weekend. In both cases, suspects forced their way into the homes, but police aren’t yet sure if the two break-ins are related.
On Sunday, a Lowell Road homeowner who had been away for two days, returned home to find a smashed window in the back of their home and small items missing from the bedroom.
In the late afternoon on Monday, a Great Plain Ave resident discovered the rear door of their home forced open. The resident said that nothing was taken.
In the last few months, Wellesley has seen a spike in residential break-ins, but, according to Wellesley Police Lieutenant Marie Cleary, there has not been an overall increase in break-ins in town, as police had reported at the end of last year.
In 2011, she said, there were 30 break-ins total; 18 of those occurred between July and December. But compared to the year before, Wellesley has been lucky: in 2010, she said, there were 40 break-ins.
“Though it seems like there’s more breaks,” she said, “there aren’t.”
The break-ins this weekend were the third and fourth of the year. Both, said Cleary, were unusual because of the items that weren’t taken.
In the Lowell Road case, she said, some jewelry was taken, but cash and other expensive items were left in plain view. Nothing was taken in the second break.
“Most often times, jewelry is pawned at a pawn shop for money, so it’s a little strange that there’s money or cash in plain view,” she said.
“To us, that certainly seemed unusual.”
She said that police have not yet figured out why someone would break into a home and leave items of value lying in plain sight.
“I suppose there’s a lot of different reasons why people commit crimes,” she said. “A lot of times you will find that the underlying factor is substance abuse or alcohol abuse issues. That’s not always the case, but it’s probably more common than any other reason we come across.”
Police have not yet identified suspects in either break-in. They aren’t sure whether the break-ins are related to each other or to other recent break-ins.
“It does appear there’s various multiple people or groups of people doing the breaks,” said Cleary.
On Jan. 9, a homeowner on Cottonwood Road reported that someone had forced entry into their house and taken change and cash. No one is believed to have been home at the time.
On Jan. 12, a resident of Longfellow Road reported that a woman had tried to break into her home, knocking on the front door and ringing the bell and then going to the back door and trying to open it. When the suspect saw the homeowner, she got into an older-model SUV and drove away.
The homeowner described the suspect as a small, light-skinned Latino woman, about 5’2” or 5’3”, wearing a dark rain slicker with the hood up. The homeowner wasn’t sure if there was anyone else in the SUV.
Cleary said it was unclear whether this month’s break-ins were related to any that occurred last year. Police have caught some suspects in last years’ incidents, she said.
Two people were arrested in connection with a Route 9 break-in that occurred on Nov. 26, after the homeowners were able to give a description of the suspects and of their car, which was allegedly stolen.
Four suspects were identified in connection with a Sept. 16 Cypress Road break-in, said Cleary, where a housekeeper allegedly arranged for the house to be burgled. That appeared to be an isolated incident, she said.
Cleary also said that the recent break-ins do not appear to be related to an incident last November on Edmunds Road, when a resident reported that a man with a gun broke into her home and sexually assaulted her. State Police assisted in an unsuccessful search for the suspect, who still has not been located. Cleary said that the Edmunds Road investigation is still ongoing.