(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, North Andover, Mass.) - On this quiet North Andover street, neighbors watch out for each other.
So when a woman – who happens to work for the police department’s communications office – noticed a 16-year-old boy she didn’t recognize leaving the home at 22 Bixby Ave., she called police.
"Before we got there, the homeowner who was walking in the area with his dog saw this person come out of their house, and not sure if they were friends of their daughter’s or if they were breaking in the house, so they engaged them and tried to talk to them," said North Andover Police Lieutenant Charles Gray.
Lt. Gray says the homeowner quickly realized the boy who had been in the home and a 17-year-old girl in a nearby car were not friends with his 14-year-old daughter.
"These people didn’t want to talk. The person got in the car and said 'go' the driver then backed up the car and tried to flee the scene. The homeowner tried to stop them and was struck by the vehicle," he said.
The homeowner had minor injuries, but was able to get a good description of the two suspects, the car they were driving, and their license plate number.
"A detail officer working on the other side of town heard the description, observed the car go by, so in his own vehicle pursued the vehicle at a distance," Lt. Gray said.
As the pursuit crossed into Andover, marked cruisers caught up with the couple and they were eventually arrested.
Seventeen-year-old Makenzie Schwartz of Haverhill is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, while both she and her juvenile friend face breaking and entering charges.
But police say they still don’t know exactly why the couple allegedly broke into the home.
"It’s our understanding there was an incomplete transaction with a third party that may have started this whole thing, and when one of the people left, after a period of time, this other person became suspicious and thought the person may have been in the house," Lt. Gray said.
The homeowner's 14-year-old daughter was home at the time of the break-in. Lt. Gray says she was shocked to see someone she didn't recognize in the home, but was unharmed.
Investigators say the case has been turned over to Essex County DA Jonathan Blodgett's office and there could be additional charges filed.