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70-Year-Old Nurse Helps Police End ‘One-Man Crime Wave’

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Richard Kasperowitz Jr. (Photo courtesy: Lawrence Police)

Richard Kasperowitz Jr. (Photo courtesy: Lawrence Police)

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LAWRENCE (CBS) – If you get the impression from Richard Kasperowitz, Jr.’s mug shot that he has had a rough night, it’s because police say it took a team of officers hunting for and fighting with the 42-year-old to finally take him down. That put an end to what Lawrence police Chief John Romero called a “one-man crime wave.”

“Had he not been apprehended, I don’t know if he would have stopped,” Chief Romero said. “I don’t think he would have.”

From very late Monday night to very early Tuesday morning, police say Kasperowitz robbed or tried to rob at least eight houses, all in the quiet Colonial Heights neighborhood.

All the houses Kasperowitz is accused of robbing or trying to rob are not just in his neighborhood, one is right on his own street.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

The Moriaty family says they heard someone banging at the back door late Monday night, but by the time Mary-Ellen Moriaty went to check, all she saw was someone running down her driveway toward the street. After she noticed that someone had tampered with the lock on her screen door, she called police.

“I’ve lived here since I was 27 and I’m now 55,” she said. “We’ve never had that problem before in all the time I’ve lived in Lawrence.”

Police say Kasperowitz kept going, eventually to the home of a 70-year-old woman who is caring for her 96-year-old mother. The daughter, Sheila Nyhan said she was about to go to bed late Monday night when she saw something in a nearby room.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mark Katic reports


“I came face-to-face with this young man,” she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Wednesday.
“He was taller than I was and there was nothing I could do physically with him, so I just said to him ‘Who are you?’ and he gave me a name and I said ‘What are you doing in here?’ and he said ‘I think I’m lost.’ I said ‘How did you get in?’ (and) he said ‘through the door.’”

“I said ‘Have you been here long?’ He said ‘About five seconds’ and I said ‘Well, I think it’s time you left.’, so I ushered him out the door and that was that.”
She then called Lawrence police, who soon picked up Kasperowitz.

“The fact of the matter is, he burglarized houses where the people were home,” said Chief Romero. “We had some good eyewitnesses who were able to identify this individual.”

At the address Kasperowitz gave to arresting officers, family members did not want to talk on camera. A man who identified himself as Kasperowitz’s mother’s longtime companion said, Kasperowitz has “problems.”

“He’s had problems most of his life,” the man said. “He got put away [in prison] for about 10 years, he just got out a year ago, and he’s still got problems. I knew he was going to go back [to prison].”

As for Sheila, she credits her training as a nurse for keeping herself calm.
“I didn’t want him to get anywhere near my mother and he was docile. At that time he was very quiet. And I just thought if I got angry with him or yelled at him it might bring out the worst in him.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong contributed to this report.

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