Westwood Families Report Thefts over School Vacation Week


Several Westwood families returning home from vacation from April’s spring break were met on Thursday, April 18th and Friday, April 19th with the unwelcome surprise of finding their homes having been broken into and items stolen.

On Thursday at 12:22 a.m., Westwood Police were summoned to a residence on Smith Drive, where residents had just returned home from a trip to Florida over the school vacation to find their home had been broken into. The intruder(s) had taken a safe that contained jewelry, precious metals, and cash. The loss is estimated at a value in the low tens of thousands of dollars. Along with Westwood Police, response was provided by a Massachusetts state police trooper who processed the scene for evidence.

One day later, Westwood Police received reports of intrusions at two different residential locations. Around 6:30 p.m., police were dispatched to a home on Fox Meadow Drive. The resident reported just returning from a vacation out of the country, and finding the home broken into. State police processed the scene. Several hours later, around a quarter after 11:00 p.m., police were dispatched to a home on Strasser Avenue, which also reported a break-in. The family had returned from vacation to find the home in disarray and that every room had been searched. At the time of this posting, the exact items taken had not been reported. A resident was compiling a list of missing items for police.

Also on Friday, April 19th, shortly before 8:00 p.m., police received a report of an open front door on Fox Meadow Drive. Officers responded, and did not find anything amiss. Police secured the door.

Westwood Police Lieutenant Christopher Sheehy advises community members to take precautions when leaving their homes unattended.

“Don’t post vacation photos on social media until after you get home. Don’t let people know you are away,” he says.

However, while the lieutenant recommends against broadly broadcasting vacation plans on social media, it can be helpful to inform neighbors of your absence. Neighbors are in the position to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

“Tell your neighbors that you are going to be away, and who may be present at the house, and what type of vehicle they have," he said, giving as examples cleaning people and contractors who might have legitimate reason to be around an otherwise empty home. "Anyone other than expected parties should be reported to police by telephone,” says Lt. Sheehy.

As time can be of the essence in reporting suspicious activity, a phone call to police is advisable, says Lt. Sheehy, rather than attempting to initiate contact with police through the department’s website.

You may also be interested in reading:

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