Michael R. Kent
Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Bedford Police Department
Robert Bongiorno, Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 781-791-7627 or 781-533-9398
**JOINT PRESS RELEASE**
Burlington and Bedford Police Arrest Man After Elderly Resident is Carjacked at Knifepoint
BEDFORD — Burlington Police Chief Michael R. Kent and Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno report that a man was arrested early Saturday morning after he allegedly carjacked an elderly woman at knifepoint shortly after posting a rant on Facebook that he may try to harm himself.
MICHAEL J. LEONICK, AGE 34, OF BEDFORD faces a number of charges in both communities.
Early Saturday morning, Bedford Police were contacted by an acquaintance of LEONICK who alerted police that he had posted a lengthy message on Facebook discussing drug use and the possibility that he may harm himself.
Bedford Police immediately begin searching for LEONICK and the department notified area police departments to be on the lookout for him, broadcasting his name and physical description over the radio system.
At 5:23 a.m., Burlington Police responded to a panic alarm for the Shell Gas Station on Middlesex Turnpike. Officers arrived within two minutes and found a 75-year-old woman, who told police that she stopped for gas when a man carjacked her at knifepoint, speeding away in her 2014 Mercedes Benz.
Officials in both communities, after communicating with each other, determined that the suspect in the carjacking matched the description given for LEONICK. A second message went out to area law enforcement agencies, highlighting the urgency of the need to locate LEONICK and describing the violent carjacking in Burlington.
At 7:35 a.m., a Bedford Veterans Affairs Police Officer spotted the Mercedes at a Shell Gas Station on Great Road in Bedford and noted that the driver matched LEONICK’S description. He immediately notified Bedford Police.
The VA officer approached and a struggle ensued before the officer, with the assistance of good Samaritans and arriving Bedford officers, captured LEONICK.
LEONICK was charged by Bedford Police with:
- Assault and Battery on a Public Employee
- Possessing or Receiving a Stolen Credit Card
- Using a Stolen/Lost Credit Card (Two Counts)
- Forgery (Two Counts)
LEONICK was further charged by Burlington Police with:
- Armed Robbery
- Armed Carjacking
He was booked by the Bedford Police Department and transferred to the Burlington Police Department, where he was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail. He will likely be arraigned Monday in Woburn District Court.
Bedford Police Chief Bongiorno praised the teamwork shown by three law enforcement agencies in capturing this individual before anyone else, or himself, was hurt.
Both police departments would like to thank and acknowledge the efforts of the gas station employees in both communities and Dunkin Donuts employees in Bedford for contacting police and providing key surveillance footage that will be used in the complete investigation of this case.
The rapid arrest of the suspect in this case was partially possible thanks to an effort by municipal police chiefs in Middlesex County to create a mutual aid policy that extends police jurisdiction over invisible city and town borders during emergencies or when requested by police departments. This gives communities a force multiplier that can be activated quickly when needed.
“I am very proud of the partnerships we have forged in Bedford with our neighbors and other law enforcement agencies,” Chief Bongiorno said. “In this case, the immediate and accurate sharing of information between Bedford and Burlington resulted in a quick arrest this morning, before anyone else got hurt. I also want to thank the Veterans Affairs Police for their vigilance.”
Burlington Police Chief Kent also recognized the efforts of officers and community members involved in this case.
“This is an example of everyone doing the right thing at the right time to prevent a possible tragedy in our communities,” Chief Kent said. “Crime does not stop at the invisible borders, and the teamwork shown by Burlington, Bedford, and VA police today, working with our residents and business owners, likely prevented this from becoming a much worse situation.”