Two men who were charged last spring with multiple break-ins across Westford and surrounding towns pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison last week. Although pleading out to 12 felonies, the pair is suspected of more than two dozen property crimes across 26 towns in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The suspects, 28-year-old Gabriel Estuardo Rojas of Methuen, and 24-year-old Manuel Jose Lopez of Lawrence, were arrested last April after police suspected them of breaking and entering multiple homes in Westford and neighboring towns in the Merrimack Valley.
Following an investigation by local police from several area towns, county sheriffs and police from two states, the two men were identified using surveillance footage and cell phone evidence. illegally trespassing and committing burglaries in several properties across both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, the men were charged with burglaries in seven Massachusetts communities, Natick, Waltham, Wilmington, Westford, Methuen, Tewksbury and Andover.
They were also charged with receiving stolen property from break-ins in Concord, Dracut, and Pelham in New Hampshire.
On January 12, Rojas pleaded guilty to four counts of unarmed burglary, three counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, two counts of receiving stolen goods over $1,200, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy, the district attorney’s office reported.
Lopez pleaded guilty to three counts of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering a building in the daytime, two counts of receiving stolen goods over $1,200, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy, the district attorney’s office added.
The district attorney’s office reported that Rojas was sentenced to up to seven years in prison and two years of probation, while Lopez was sentenced to up to four years in prison and two years of probation.
Police reported that Rojas was arrested in May 2020 in New Hampshire after being charged with stealing a motorcycle. Police also discovered a storage unit he rented in Tyngsborough filled with the stolen goods from the burglaries.
According to the district attorney’s office, over 20 police departments from Westford, the Merrimack Valley, and Southern New Hampshire were involved in the investigation of the break-ins and burglaries.