By Chris Mazachrism@thereminder.com
LONGMEADOW – Several members of the Longmeadow Police Department recently received letters of commendation from Chief Robert Siano for their involvement in the identification and apprehension of two individuals responsible for a rash of recent break-ins.
Officers Amanda Van Buskirk, Carl Mazzaferro, Michael Pooler and Sgt. Eric Wisnouskas received praise from Siano, who explained the officers were able to recover 46 items stolen from at least 10 residents on May 17. One of the suspects was also found with drugs in his possession.
“Sgt. Wisnouskas also gave them high praises for their perseverance in determining who was responsible for the larcenies and car breaks, despite being outside in the pouring rain,” he said. “I am truly proud of my officers, and know they all go above and beyond to make Longmeadow a safe place to reside.”
The items found included a small TV, multiple GPS units and golf clubs, among others.
The Police Department’s investigation began in the early morning hours of May 17, when dispatchers received a call reporting two people wearing dark clothing on Silver Birch Road.
Responding officers were not able to locate anyone, but a short time later, a Captain Road resident reported their car had been broken into.
Van Buskirk responded and located a man in dark clothing on Viscount Road and stopped him. While looking up his information on her cruiser’s computer, she saw another person in dark clothing with a flashlight running through back yards and gave chase, but was unable to locate the individual.
While en route to back up Van Buskirk, Mazzaferro informed Pooler and Wisnouskas that there was a vehicle with its headlights on parked on Caravelle Drive. When Pooler located the vehicle, he found it occupied by a man. As Pooler approached the car, he saw the man was fumbling around inside the car as if to hide or retrieve something from under the seat and found him wearing gloves – “on a warm rainy night,” Siano noted.
When asked what he was doing, the man said he was waiting for a friend, which officers later determined was the person Van Buskirk observed running through back yards.
The car was full of items and when questioned, he could not answer why they were in his possession or where they came from. At that time, Mazzaferro turned on one of the GPS units and when he pressed the “home” button and a Green Willow Drive address was given. Mazzaferro then went to the address and the homeowner confirmed that his car had been broken into and his GPS was stolen, at which time, the suspect was arrested. The suspect later gave police the identity of the second individual, who was summoned to court.
Police also found a pocketbook with identification of an Agawam resident, who was contacted and confirmed that her vehicle was broken into and her pocketbook was stolen.