By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT — An Amesbury man will spend roughly the next two years in jail after admitting he broke into dozens of cars and houses over a nine-month stretch starting last September, setting an entire neighborhood on edge and taxing police resources.
In July, police charged Kerry J. Lambert, 37, of 278 Main St., Apt. B, with 28 counts of multiple offenses including nighttime breaking and entering, larceny from a building, 12 breaking and entering of a motor vehicle charges, five larceny over $250 charges and larceny under $250, seven counts.
Yesterday, Newburyport District Court Judge Peter Doyle sentenced Lambert to two years in jail with 58 days deemed served for all breaking and entering charges, sentences to run concurrently. He was sentenced to a year in jail for larceny over $250 with all counts to run concurrently as well.
Based on evidence and testimony, police obtained a search warrant for Lambert’s apartment in July and recovered 83 items reported stolen including sunglasses, small electronics, cash and tools. Lambert visited the Amesbury police station for an interview and was arrested. Amesbury police Lt. Kevin Donovan said it appears Lambert didn’t sell the stolen items at pawn shops but traded them in exchange for drugs.
According to police, Lambert’s crime spree began in September 2012, shortly after he moved into Amesbury from another North Shore community. For weeks police responded to burglaries, all concentrating at homes around Lambert’s Main Street apartment. The apartment is in an old house that has several subsidized housing units, and is owned by Newburyport-based nonprofit agency Housing Support Inc.
Lambert would then lay low for months before another rash of thefts took place. Donovan said it appears one of the lulls coincided with a stint Lambert spent in a rehabilitation facility trying to kick his drug habit.
In the meantime, Amesbury police put up posters around the neighborhood, warning people of the thefts and urging them to lock their cars.
For months, police were unable to connect Lambert to the break-ins; but after the most recent stretch of incidents, patrol officers were able to obtain enough facts to whittle the number of suspects to a small handful. From there, detectives David Pare, Sean Leary, Raymond Landry and Matthew Cunningham were able to focus their attention on Lambert, according to Donovan.
Police are encouraging anyone who believes they were victimized by Lambert’s crime wave to visit the School Street police station and look through the dozens of recovered items.