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Wolfeboro burglaries down sharply since December

March 22, 2012
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro Police Chief Stuart Chase reported to the Police Commission at its March 7 monthly meeting that burglary reports have dropped 50 percent since December.

Chase credited several contributing factors to that decline: information sharing among area law enforcement departments, increased public awareness through media reports, arrests in the last two months of burglary suspects on drug offenses and the monitoring of pawnshops and "known or suspected fences."

A second roundtable discussion and intelligence sharing meeting has been scheduled.

Chase said that the trained K9 team of Officer Jim O'Brien and German Shepherd Blek has shown itself to be an important tool in recent arrests. "A good officer with a well-trained dog can take the place of seven officers working overtime," commented Chase as he recounted two recent cases in which the duo was involved.

The team was called in to assist in tracking Josh Darnley, an Alton man alleged to have entered a North Line residence on Feb. 28. The team also followed tracks through snow and rough terrain for four hours in Wakefield recently, leading to the arrest of four men and the property that had been reported stolen.

Commissioner Ron Goodgame, serving as chairman in Joe Balboni's continued absence, drew attention to two articles in the Granite State News on those burglaries, saying that he wanted to amplify the chief's comments on the value of the K9 team. Commissioner Bob Copeland termed the team "a real plus."

Goodgame also congratulated Wolfeboro Police Department new detective, Guy Maloney, and Sgt. Scott Moore on the investigative work that led to Darnley's arrest in Vermont on March 2 on charges relating to a stolen N.H. Department of Transportation vehicle found on North Line Road and illegal entry of the nearby residence.

Copeland asked to revisit the topic of an ordinance against the operation of pawnshops in Wolfeboro that was raised at the last meeting. Lt. Dean Rondeau elaborated that there are state RSAs on the books to regulate pawnshop operations that the town could adopt, should the selectmen choose to do so. "There's one operating in town though the owner wouldn't admit that it is a pawn shop," said Rondeau. "It doesn't have to have say it in the name to be one," added Chase.

The concern relating to burglaries is that stolen jewelry and metal objects can be quickly melted down, eliminating the chance of their recovery to the victims and thwarting efforts at collecting evidence.

Chase reported February statistics. There were 44 arrests, 94 offenses and six accidents. Court activity involved 20 defendants on 24 offenses resulting in seven arraignments, 13 plea agreements, and one pretrial conference.


In addition to the move of Officer Guy Maloney into the detective position, Officer Shane Emerson has completed field training and is now part of the patrol rotation and Officer Mike Strauch has achieved the status of Senior Patrolman, having served five years on the force.

Detective Maloney completed a class on sexual assault investigations and Prosecutor Morgan completed a class on courtroom advocacy held at the Police Academy.

Lt. Rondeau performed a residential security survey for a Sewall Road homeowner. Sgt. Chris Keaton spoke on safety and crime prevention at a "Parent Connection" meeting at the Kingswood Youth Center, and Dispatch Supervisor Mia Lyons attended a board meeting of the Wolfeboro Area Children's Center.

The Police Commission will meet next on April 12, at 4 p.m., at the Wolfeboro Public Library.

Mike Cryans
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