Police: Thieves Used Fire Escapes In Boston Break-Ins

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston police have issued a community warning after several apartments were broken into in the Fenway neighborhood, with thieves accessing apartments using fire escapes.

They are the staircases that snake around apartment buildings, intended to be escape routes in case of fire. But, they’ve become steps to crime.

“It’s a pretty creative method for breaking in,” said resident Brian Maher.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

One apartment on Park Drive, and three apartments on Peterborough Street were hit.

The thieves targeted valuable laptops used by music students like Mika Lorch.

“The door was open, we went in and none of the laptops were there,” said Lorch.

Renters in apartments several floors up thought they’d be safe, but it’s a combination of determination and vulnerable windows. Lorch’s kitchen window, adjacent to a fire escape, was pried open with a lock that doesn’t always catch.

“I never thought about it. We’re on the fourth floor, you don’t imagine somebody climbing that high,” she said.

In one case, thieves were let right in the front door of a building, then accessed the fire escape to break through a window. It’s taking some effort to make the climb on steps meant for safety.

“It looks like the crime is always one step ahead of the protective measures,” said Maher.

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