Police in Atkinson, New Hampshire are warning residents to lock their doors and windows after two recent break-ins in which police say the homeowners interrupted the burglaries in progress both times.
Police say the most recent victim is traumatized from the ordeal.
“The victim was terrified,” explained Atkinson Police Chief Al Brackett. “She asked the suspect, ‘Please don’t hurt me.’”
Bracket says Monday evening a woman returned home from the grocery store and came face-to-face with an intruder.
“At that point the suspect said, ‘don’t call the police,’” Chief Brackett said.
She did, and as the man tried to get away in a pickup truck, the woman’s husband wrote down his license plate. Police caught up with Adam Ward about 14 miles away in Brentwood. He was arrested and charged with criminal trespass.
“This individual has a drug record, he’s been arrested and convicted of drugs,” Brackett said.
A similar, but separate incident happened in a different part of town less than a month ago.
“He looked and saw somebody through the picture window walking through the house,” Brackett said about the homeowner who reported it.
Bracket is convinced the opioid epidemic is to blame for the uptick in break-ins.
“I believe that they’re looking for drugs and they’re looking for quick money to support their drug habit,” Bracket said.
The chief says any one of these break-ins could’ve taken a turn for worst in a split second, admitting - even he would be shaken.
“Listen, I’m a police officer, but if somebody comes into my house, you don’t know what they’re intentions are, you’re scared, and that fear factor will kick in,” he said.
Brackett says these suspects are targeting homes and even cars left unlocked. He’s urging residents to lock everything even if you’re only leaving for a short time.