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Rindge police close store burglary investigations

RINDGE — Police say they positively identified a man who broke into two Route 202 businesses in May 2012 and stole more than $2,000 worth of tobacco products. But due to the suspect’s untimely death in December, the man will never be convicted, according to Rindge Police Chief Frank Morrill.

The suspect, who police will not name, was incarcerated in another state on similar charges at the time of his death, Morrill told the Ledger-Transcript on Thursday. When asked if the man died of natural causes or if his death is suspicious, Morrill would not comment. He would also not name the state or jail where the man was being held.

The suspect was identified through video surveillance images by an out-of-state law enforcement agency familiar with him, Morrill said. In July 2012, Rindge police released images of a suspect who they described as “a tall, heavy set Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s with short dark hair.”

Morrill said Thursday, “[The suspect] was interviewed by police [in August] and at that time confessed to two separate crimes in Rindge.” More than $1,000 in tobacco products were reported missing from North of the Border and Market Basket in May 2012. At approximately 4 a.m. on May 11, police responded to an alarm activation at North of the Border, a Route 202 convenience store, where they observed a projectile had been used to smash out a window and gain entry to the store. A second burglary occurred at Market Basket just before 11:30 p.m. on May 13. A projectile was also used at Market Basket to gain entry through a glass door, according to police.

Indictments for felony-level burglary charges were expected to be delivered by a Grand Jury last month, Morrill said, prior to news of the suspect’s death. “Both cases are officially closed and no longer being investigated by the Rindge Police Department,” he said. “The suspect acted alone.”

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