Edgartown Police said seven break-ins, five within the last week, had one characteristic in common. The thief or thieves were looking for only pills.
Edgartown Police detective Chris Dolby said police are investigating housebreaks all over town. In all but one case, the thieves gained entry by smashing a window or a door during the day, when homeowners were away or at work.
“The perpetrators are looking for pills,” Detective Dolby said. “They are going into these homes. They are going right to the medicine cabinets and kitchen cabinets for pills. No valuables have been taken to date.” Detective Dolby called the thieves “brazen.”
He said evidence and fingerprints have been recovered and will be examined by the state crime laboratory. Police are also asking for the public’s assistance.
“Keep an eye on your neighbors,” he said. “If somebody sees a vehicle that looks out of place, write the license plate number down. If somebody sees a person that looks out of place, don’t hesitate to call 911. We have these houses getting broken into, and we are looking for any break that we can get.”
The thieves do not go about their business quietly. In one instance, an ax was removed from an unlocked garage and used to smash a door.
“The thieves are clearly not spending much time,” he said. “They are targeting specific areas like the night stands, medicine cabinets, and kitchen cabinets where people would normally keep their prescription medications and then they are bolting. It doesn’t appear they are spending a lot of time in these places.”
Two break-ins occurred the last week in February on Oakdale Drive. Those were followed by five more. Officer Dolby provided a disturbing chronological account. On March 14, the thieves broke into a house in Planting Field Wood development, while the owners were off-Island for the day. Nothing was missing from that house.
The next house hit, the only one left unlocked, was on Robinson Road near the Edgartown School on March 15. The owners were attending a funeral. Medications were stolen.
On March 18, a residence was hit on Mariner’s Way. “Medications were found and stolen,” Mr. Dolby said. The seasonal owners had visited the house only a day or two before the burglary.
Over the weekend of March 19, a house on Edgartown Meadows was targeted. The owner had left for the weekend and returned to discover that someone had smashed a window and taken medications.
The next house struck was on Teaberry Lane. The owners were on vacation. The window was also smashed to gain entry.
Officer Dolby advised residents to secure their property, be vigilant, and to report any information that could assist police.
The Edgartown Police anonymous tip line is 774-310-1190. The station house number is 508-627-4343.