Citizens Assist Police with Motor Vehicle B&E Arrests


Over the course of a week and a half, the Beverly Police Department arrested six individuals for breaking into motor vehicles. These arrests were made possible by alert citizens who heard noises outside their home, looked out their window to investigate, and then immediately called police to report what they saw.


This is a perfect example of how citizens and police can work together to make their city a safer place to live. These citizens were able to provide good descriptions of the suspects and assisted officers with identifying the suspects once found. Not only were officers able to arrest the burglars but they were also able to return stolen property to numerous victims.


On August 8, 2012 Officers Michael Backstrom and David Grimes, along with Sergeant Michael Cassola, arrested Thomas McGovern, 17, and a juvenile male, both of Beverly, after a woman on Yankee Way called the police station. The victim heard a car door close outside her home at approximately 1:30 am, went to the window to investigate, and observed two individuals walking away from her car. Upon further investigation, she found items missing from her vehicle and called police. The two suspects were found on Essex St ducking behind a motor vehicle. The juvenile was taken into custody immediately while McGovern fled, but he was arrested shortly after.


On August 11, 2012 Officers Eric Shultz, Michael Backstrom, and Timothy Mezza, along with Sergeant Michael Cassola, arrested Cody Sousa, 20, and Justin Smith, 24, both of Salem, after residents on Sonning Rd called the police station. A victim heard a squeaking noise outside his home at approximately 3:00 am and observed two individuals on bikes in front of his house. He then saw them approach and open the door of his vehicle in his driveway and went outside to confront them. Both suspects fled, but the victim was able catch and hold onto Smith until officers arrived. Sousa was found walking on Cabot St by County Way shortly after.


On August 19, 2012 Officers Eric Shultz and David Grimes arrested Justin Hayes, 23 of Beverly, and Christopher Mazzola, 22, of Lynn, after residents on Blaine Ave called the police station. Witnesses saw Hayes and Mazzola enter a drive way on Blaine Ave. Mazzola was carrying a cinder block on his shoulder. The witnesses lost sight of them and moved to another room to get a better view. As they did so, they heard a loud bang, and then observed the cinder block on the ground next to a vehicle with a smashed window. Another witness had observed Mazzola stashing a bag of stolen property by the railroad tracks behind her house. Hayes and Mazzola were found by officers on Balch St near the railroad tracks.


As the Beverly Police Department continues to work diligently to prevent these types of incidents, we want to remind citizens to lock their vehicles at night and bring all valuables into the house. We also want to remind citizens, if you observe criminal activity in progress, do not confront the criminals or alert them in any way, just call the police immediately and report it. This keeps you safe and gives police officers a head start on the criminals.


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