Off-Duty Officer Stops Suspected Burglary Suspect

A Melrose man was arrested on warrants on Friday.

Surveillance system images taken of the suspect's vehicle. Photo credit: North Reading Police.
Surveillance system images taken of the suspect's vehicle. Photo credit: North Reading Police.

An off-duty North Reading police officer may have thwarted a burglary on Friday.

The off-duty officer was driving his personal vehicle in the Elm Street and Orchard Drive area on Friday after a traffic assignment. He saw a pickup truck that he believed was suspicious and followed the vehicle through several neighborhoods, according to North Reading Police.

He notified dispatch and said he believed the two people in the truck were casing the neighborhood and looking for a home to burglarize.

Police sent cruisers to the area, but the pickup truck driver attempted to speed away in the Pleasant Street neighborhood, said police.

A detective spotted the vehicle and pulled over the truck. Police found that the driver, Ryan Briggs, 30, of Melrose, had two outstanding arrest warrants for burglary and drug possession. Police arrested the man.

Police identified the passenger, who was a female, but did not arrest her.

Investigators found that the vehicle and occupants may be linked to “surveillance system images taken of burglary suspects from a neighboring community,” said North Reading Police.

North Reading Police spoke to nearby agencies, which gave them information about the suspects. Police obtained additional arrest warrants, according to police.

Police do not believe there were any burglaries in North Reading on Friday.

“I believe the officer’s observations and subsequent actions prevented several house breaks from occurring in our community. I’m proud of the actions the officer took. He, along with the other responding officers, may have spared many residents from being victimized,” said Police Chief Michael Murphy. 

The vehicle was a brown 2000 Chevrolet Silverado and the driver was described as being about 6 feet tall, thin with short dark hair. If you saw someone fitting that description, the vehicle or suspicious behavior on Friday, call North Reading Police at 978-357-5046.

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