Haverhill Residents On Edge After Rash Of Break-Ins

HAVERHILL (CBS) – Frank Lorenzi circled his home on Blossom Street in Haverhill Wednesday night, jostling the window air conditioners with ease — and realizing just how easy it would be for a burglar to yank one out and climb into his house.

“Boom! You’re in my house!” Lorenzi says with a scowl. “How scary is that?!”

But he’s not the only one coming to that conclusion, following a daytime break-in at his neighbor’s yesterday morning.

That’s where a burglar pulled out an window A/C unit along the driveway, and jumped in the window.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports

The burglar probably knew the homeowner was at work.

He apparently did not know that her 76-year-old aunt “Kay” was visiting from Florida — and asleep in an upstairs bedroom.

“I opened the bedroom door and this guy heard me,” says Kathleen Hibbard. “He went backwards down the hall so I couldn’t see his face and then ran down the stairs. I was petrified, petrified, petrified.”

The burglar got away with a laptop, but didn’t have a chance to get the good stuff.

“I had a gold watch with diamonds on the bureau,” says homeowner Gail Azevedo, Hibbard’s niece. “She caught him just in time.”

“I was shaking like a leaf,” counters Hibbard. “I finally put some clothes on just in case someone else was coming.”

Haverhill Police didn’t have exact number tonight, but indicate they’ve had so many break-ins these last few weeks in so many neighborhoods that warning residents about the spike has become a priority.

The thieves are grabbing all the usual items — jewelry, cash, and small electronics — but are hitting with greater frequency.

They’re taking advantage of open windows with fans in them, and A/C units that are not secured with screws or brackets.

That’s why Frank Lorenzi is heading to the hardware store.

“I’m going to protect my house — period!” he says.

Such fixes may come a little late for aunt “Kay,” who spent some time Wednesday trying to soothe her sense of violation with a bowl of fava beans.

“It’s just frustrating that someone would have the nerve to break into someone else’s house,” she says in disgust. “Things are bad. What are we coming to?”

Since being alone in the house on Blossom Street now gives her the creeps, aunt “Kay” will be spending the rest of her summer visit with another niece in Methuen.

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