Police arrest Reading man twice in eight hours

Stephen DeSantis, 34, was arraigned in Woburn District Court Friday and is being held pending a dangerousness hearing.

READING — Police arrested a Reading man involved in two potentially dangerous situations over an eight-hour period, charging him with several crimes, according to a statement from police.

Stephen DeSantis, 34, of Reading, was charged with breaking and entering a building, two counts of vandalizing property, breaking and entering, two counts of disorderly conduct, arson, disabling a fire alarm, three counts of larceny under $1,200, false fire alarm, three counts of possession of a class B drug, two counts of possession of a class C drug, malicious destruction of property under $1,200 and tampering with a fire call box.

DeSantis was arraigned in Woburn District Court Friday and is being held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Sept. 16.


“De-escalating potentially dangerous situations like these is one of our top priorities as a department because it helps ensure the safety of suspects, the public and officers alike,” Chief David Clark said. “The officers who responded to these incidents handled the situations exactly how their training dictated they should, and the result was a safe resolution in both cases.”

According to police, officers first encountered DeSantis Thursday around 6:30 p.m. after being dispatched to a report of a disturbance near 50 Bay State Road.

Officers, including an off-duty officer, located DeSantis in a parking lot nearby acting erratically and showing signs consistent with being under the influence of methamphetamine, according to police. 


Police say DeSantis was carrying a drink he had allegedly stolen from a nearby convenience store, a well as items allegedly stolen from the Bay State Road residence.

DeSantis also allegedly pulled a fire alarm within sight of officers, according to the statement.

Officers tried to de-escalate the situation by engaging DeSantis in conversation, which ultimately concluded with him being taken into custody without incident and transported to an area hospital for evaluation, according to police.

Officers seized a glass pipe, a bottle containing a variety of pills, and a bag containing a powdered substance believed to be methamphetamine, according to the statement.


Following an investigation, police determined that DeSantis allegedly burned a fire alarm sensor at the Bay State Road residence with a lighter, according to the statement.

DeSantis was issued a summons for the charges stemming from this incident, according to police.

Then, at 2:37 a.m. Friday, police were dispatched to a home on Border Road after receiving to report of someone actively breaking in, according to the statement.

Officers arrived and found the suspect had fled but matched the description of DeSantis, according to police. 

Woburn and State Police shared that they had recently received a report of a man exiting a rideshare vehicle on Interstate 95 near Border Road.


Police say they located DeSantis a short time later on Border Road. He was again acting erratically, according to the statement.

Officers spoke with DeSantis for several minutes, culminating in him being placed under arrest without incident, according to police.

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