, Newburyport, MA

October 16, 2012

Condo trustee admits to stealing women's clothing

Police say Amesbury man had been robbing units for years

By Dave Rogers Staff Writer
Newburyport Daily News

---- — AMESBURY — A Maple Ridge Condominium trustee avoided jail time last week after he admitted breaking into several condos and stealing dozens of female undergarments and other items of women’s clothing over the course of several years.

By pleading guilty to multiple counts of larceny over $250 and daytime breaking and entering to commit a felony, Lawrence P. Torrisi, 47, of 19 Maple St., No. 12, Amesbury, was sentenced to two years in a house of correction, with all jail time suspended for three years.

Judge Peter Doyle ordered Torrisi to pay several hundred dollars in court fees and wear an electronic monitoring device for one year. He must also remain drug and alcohol free with random screens and stay away from all victims and Maple Ridge Condominiums, where he had lived.

In an interview with police last October, Torrisi, who worked as a receiver for Jackson Lumber in Lawrence, admitted he stole bras and panties from many of the women who lived in the complex and then wore the items after stealing them. He also admitted to police he was wearing women’s underclothes during his interview with them.

According to court documents, on Sept. 25, 2011, another trustee of Maple Ridge Condominiums called police to report the theft of women’s clothing from many condo units, including hers, plus the complex’s laundry room. The trustee told police she had installed a video camera inside the laundry room and a lockbox for larger parcels delivered by the post office. That stopped thefts from those two areas, but break-ins continued in condo units, she said.

The trustee also told police she believed Torrisi had been stealing women’s clothing from the complex for as many as eight years and provided police with a signed statement outlining roughly 10 incidents in the building and measures taken by the association to prevent further thefts.

Amesbury police detective Sean Leary wrote in his application for a search warrant that Torrisi was given a spare key by one of the victims under the pretense of allowing him into the unit in case of emergency, assuring the victim that only he and another trustee would have access. Leary’s search warrant request was granted days later.

A search of Torrisi’s condo, car and storage unit on Oct. 17, 2011, resulted in the seizure of 36 pairs of underpants, 15 bras, 38 women’s tops, 13 pairs of pants, two bathing suits, a key to another condo owner’s unit, women’s shoes, pajamas and shorts, according to Leary.

Upon his return home, Torrisi was arrested by police and immediately confessed to recently stealing underpants and bras from another unit and admitted he was wearing them at that moment. At the police station, Torrisi admitted he had been stealing women’s clothing from the complex’s laundry room and units for at least eight years, police said.

“It’s a sickness, I guess,” Torrisi told police, according to Leary’s report.

In all, Torrisi was charged with three counts of daytime breaking and entering for a felony, two counts of larceny over $250 and one count of larceny under $250.