Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Arrest Suspect on 11 Counts of Breaking and Entering
NORTH READING — Police Chief Michael P. Murphy is pleased to report that strong investigative work by North Reading Police Detectives resulted, on Friday, in the arrest of a suspect who also had three outstanding arrest warrants.
As a result of the investigation, MICHAEL STEELE, AGE 30, OF READING was arrested and charged with 11 Counts of Breaking and Entering During the Daytime with the Intent to Commit a Felony.
North Reading Police responded to a commercial complex on Main Street on Jan. 18 after several businesses were reported to be burglarized overnight. A building manager told responding officers that 11 units had their locks broken and were burglarized.
A 2009 Chevrolet HHR was also stolen from the scene. An exhaustive search by North Reading Police and other agencies later found the vehicle. A witness told police that a male, in his 20s, with a large build, was seen running from the vehicle.
The owner of the vehicle consented to a search, and police found two flat-screen televisions, matching some of the televisions stolen from the commercial complex.
Detectives also found a backpack with multiple personal items, including grooming items, a cellphone, and photographs.
A search of the phone led police to believe it belonged to STEELE.
North Reading Police Detectives began to look into STEELE and found that the had three outstanding arrest warrants. He was also well-known to police throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Police Detectives from the Woburn and Reading Police Departments shared information with North Reading Police, indicating that STEELE may be staying at a multi-family house on Lincoln Street in Reading with a girlfriend. North Reading and Reading police officers and detectives went to the house and immediately noticed a male with a large build repeatedly looking out the window. STEELE tried to flee out a back door, but he was subdued by uniformed officers on scene.
In the apartment, detectives observed, in plain view, a 24×24 safe with its door pried open. Detectives later found numerous pieces of stolen property, including another flat-panel television.
Detectives were also able to use forensic evidence to tie STEELE to some of the stolen items recovered during the Investigators search of the stolen vehicle.
Chief Murphy praised the work of his officers and detectives in quickly solving this case.
“North Reading Police Detectives were incredibly thorough in this case,” Chief Murphy said. “A lot of things fell in place because of the experience, knowledge, and skills of the Detectives, who knew what resources they could bring to bear to quickly close a major burglary case in our community.”
STEELE was held at the North Reading Police Department over the weekend and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Woburn District Court.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.