2 Mass. men arrested in connection with regional crime spree, authorities say


Two Massachusetts men are facing multiple charges in connection with a regional crime spree that spanned 10 communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, according to authorities.The arrests of 28-year-old Gabriel Estuardo Rojas, of Methuen, and 24-year-old Manuel Jose Lopez, of Lawrence, come as a result of a 15-month investigation conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies.On Dec. 12, 2019, police responded to a daytime burglary that was happening at a home on Long Pond Drive in Pelham, New Hampshire. The suspects fled the scene before officers arrived, so Pelham police released video footage of the break-in, in an attempt to identify the suspects.According to Pelham police, the video footage led detectives to a number of leads that uncovered a region-wide criminal operation, as other nearby communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire were experiencing similar burglaries. The footage also led to Rojas and Lopez being identified as the suspects.Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, of Massachusetts, says police obtained warrants to search the homes of Rojas and Lopez. While they were searching suspects’ homes, detectives recovered clothing, tools and a rented SUV that was believed to be used in the burglaries. Numerous articles of stolen property were also recovered from Rojas’s apartment and the suspects’ cellphones, according to Ryan.After obtaining another search warrant, detectives found messages between Rojas, Lopez and others that were allegedly related to a wide-ranging burglary conspiracy. Investigators then obtained search warrants to analyze the location data on the cellphones, and the analysis established that one or both of the suspects’ phones communicated with cell towers that were close to the location of the break-ins at the time they are thought to have happened.According to Ryan, Rojas was arrested in possession of a stolen motorcycle on May 21, 2020, by Nashua police. After that arrest, investigators identified a self-storage unit in Tyngsborough that he was renting. On July 16, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant of that storage unit and found property in Rojas’s and Lopez’s names. The investigators also recovered three motorcycles that had been reported stolen in May and June of 2020, as well as approximately $5,000 worth of stolen Snap-on tools and other suspected stolen property.Rojas and Lopez were arrested at their homes early Wednesday morning without incident by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to Ryan’s office, who was working in collaboration with police departments from various communities.Both men were then arraigned Wednesday in Woburn District Court on five counts of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering a dwelling/house in the daytime with intent to commit a felony and breaking and entering a vehicle at night; three counts of receiving stolen property; and two counts of possession of burglarious tools and conspiracy to commit unarmed burglary.Ryan says the charges Rojas and Lopez face are in connection with burglaries and break-ins that happened between Nov. 22, 2019, and Jan. 27, 2020, in the Massachusetts communities of Natick, Waltham, Wilmington, Westford, Methuen, Tewksbury and Andover. The men are also being charged for dealing property that was stolen in burglaries and break-ins that happened in Dracut and Concord, as well as Pelham. They are also being charged with one count of burglary in New Hampshire.Rojas and Lopez are being held without bail in Massachusetts pending an April 12 dangerousness hearing. According to Pelham police, the Massachusetts State Police will bring forth an additional charge of fugitive from justice for both men prior to the dangerousness hearing. Those additional charges are a result of Pelham police detectives issuing felony-level arrest warrants for the two men that charge each of them with one count of burglary and one count of criminal mischief.The regional crime spree will continue to be investigated by Ryan’s office, state police assigned to her office and the Pelham Police Department.

Two Massachusetts men are facing multiple charges in connection with a regional crime spree that spanned 10 communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, according to authorities.

The arrests of 28-year-old Gabriel Estuardo Rojas, of Methuen, and 24-year-old Manuel Jose Lopez, of Lawrence, come as a result of a 15-month investigation conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies.

On Dec. 12, 2019, police responded to a daytime burglary that was happening at a home on Long Pond Drive in Pelham, New Hampshire. The suspects fled the scene before officers arrived, so Pelham police released video footage of the break-in, in an attempt to identify the suspects.

According to Pelham police, the video footage led detectives to a number of leads that uncovered a region-wide criminal operation, as other nearby communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire were experiencing similar burglaries. The footage also led to Rojas and Lopez being identified as the suspects.

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Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, of Massachusetts, says police obtained warrants to search the homes of Rojas and Lopez. While they were searching suspects’ homes, detectives recovered clothing, tools and a rented SUV that was believed to be used in the burglaries. Numerous articles of stolen property were also recovered from Rojas’s apartment and the suspects’ cellphones, according to Ryan.

After obtaining another search warrant, detectives found messages between Rojas, Lopez and others that were allegedly related to a wide-ranging burglary conspiracy. Investigators then obtained search warrants to analyze the location data on the cellphones, and the analysis established that one or both of the suspects’ phones communicated with cell towers that were close to the location of the break-ins at the time they are thought to have happened.

According to Ryan, Rojas was arrested in possession of a stolen motorcycle on May 21, 2020, by Nashua police. After that arrest, investigators identified a self-storage unit in Tyngsborough that he was renting. On July 16, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant of that storage unit and found property in Rojas’s and Lopez’s names. The investigators also recovered three motorcycles that had been reported stolen in May and June of 2020, as well as approximately $5,000 worth of stolen Snap-on tools and other suspected stolen property.

Rojas and Lopez were arrested at their homes early Wednesday morning without incident by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to Ryan’s office, who was working in collaboration with police departments from various communities.

Both men were then arraigned Wednesday in Woburn District Court on five counts of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering a dwelling/house in the daytime with intent to commit a felony and breaking and entering a vehicle at night; three counts of receiving stolen property; and two counts of possession of burglarious tools and conspiracy to commit unarmed burglary.

Ryan says the charges Rojas and Lopez face are in connection with burglaries and break-ins that happened between Nov. 22, 2019, and Jan. 27, 2020, in the Massachusetts communities of Natick, Waltham, Wilmington, Westford, Methuen, Tewksbury and Andover. The men are also being charged for dealing property that was stolen in burglaries and break-ins that happened in Dracut and Concord, as well as Pelham. They are also being charged with one count of burglary in New Hampshire.

Rojas and Lopez are being held without bail in Massachusetts pending an April 12 dangerousness hearing. According to Pelham police, the Massachusetts State Police will bring forth an additional charge of fugitive from justice for both men prior to the dangerousness hearing. Those additional charges are a result of Pelham police detectives issuing felony-level arrest warrants for the two men that charge each of them with one count of burglary and one count of criminal mischief.

The regional crime spree will continue to be investigated by Ryan’s office, state police assigned to her office and the Pelham Police Department.