Pelham police nab suspects linked to multi-state thefts

Breanna Edelstein, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·2 min read

Apr. 8—PELHAM — Efforts from more than two dozen police departments in New Hampshire and Massachusetts culminated Wednesday with the arrests of two men believed to have been on a year-and-a-half-long crime spree.

Pelham police announced Wednesday night that Gabriel Estuardo Rojas, 28, of Methuen and Manual Jose Lopez, 24, of Lawrence are being charged in connection to seven burglaries and break-ins in the area since November 22, 2019, as well as dealing in property stolen from several other incidents in Massachusetts.

The Pelham Police Criminal Bureau completed a lengthy investigation into a burglary that took place on Longpond Road in Pelham in December 2019, which gave way to the larger, regional effort.

Video surveillance from inside the Pelham home was released publicly, along with a request for any information the public had about the people shown.

According to police, the suspects were believed to be committing similar crimes elsewhere in the region. Detectives networked with surrounding agencies, including Massachusetts State Police, and collectively were able to solve multiple burglaries and recover stolen items from various break-ins that had taken place, they said.

"Early this morning, April 7, 2021, the two main suspects believed to be the masterminds behind this crime spree were arrested at their homes without incident," Pelham police announced.

Both men appeared in the Woburn District Court and are being held in Massachusetts without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for April 12.

Massachusetts State Police are expected to bring an additional charge against Rojas and Lopez for being fugitive from justice, for the felony level arrest warrants that the Pelham detectives brought.

The arrest warrants from Pelham charge both men with a count of burglary and a count of criminal mischief.

"This investigation was very lengthy, and a lot of effort, from multiple agencies was put in behind the scenes to solidify this case," the statement from Pelham police reads. "That included multiple search warrants that were written and executed over the course of the past year as well as surveillance on the suspects involved.'

The following police agencies were directly involved in the effort: the Middlesex District Attorney's Office and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the District Attorney's Office, police in Salem, New Hampshire, Nashua, Windham, Londonderry, Tewksbury, Chelmsford, Natick, Tyngsborough, Methuen, Haverhill, Andover, Dracut, Lawrence, Westford, Waltham, Wilmington, Concord, Massachusetts, Needham, Dedham, the Massachusetts State Police Special Investigation Division, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.