By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT — A Haverhill man sentenced to a year in jail Friday for breaking into dozens of cars in West Newbury and Merrimac last fall admitted he and his accomplice hired a taxi cab to drive them to their targets, according to police records.
Justice Holmes, 18, pleaded guilty to 41 counts of misdemeanor breaking and entering; four counts of felony nighttime breaking and entering of a vehicle, larceny under $250 and malicious destruction of property more than $250. In all, Holmes was sentenced to a year in jail with 180 days to be served, the balance suspended for two years. He was given credit for 166 days already served and ordered to pay $90 in fines.
According to police reports, Holmes and his accomplice first visited Merrimac in September 2013 and broke into at least 22 cars parked on Chase Crescent, West Parish Lane, Noyes Lane and other nearby streets.
Merrimac police officer Steven A. Ringuette reported that a credit card reported stolen was used by two men at a CVS Pharmacy, Market Basket, Kohl’s department store and other retail locations in Plaistow, N.H. Video surveillance captured at Kohl’s showed two men purchasing items using the stolen credit card. Images of the video were shown to police departments in surrounding towns.
A Haverhill police detective called Ringuette to say he knew the two men in the video and identified them as Holmes and Cameron Waller, both of Haverhill. Fingerprints taken off one of the cars confirmed that one of the men involved was Waller.
After being picked up by Haverhill police, Waller admitted they hired a Haverhill-based cab company to drive them to Merrimac, where they broke into dozens of cars and stole iPhones, cash, credit cards and other items.
“When they were done, they were picked up by Family Cab again on Route 110,” Ringuette wrote in his report.
Ringuette then called Family Cab, where they confirmed the fare. Police were then provided a copy of the dispatch log, which showed they were picked up at 1 Water St. in Haverhill, where Holmes lives.
Days later, Waller and Holmes traveled to West Newbury, where they broke into dozens of cars in that neighborhood, according to the report of officer Royster Johnson IV. Soon after the reported car breaks, Johnson received an email from Ringuette with the attached image of the two suspects using stolen credit cards to purchase items at Pelham, N.H., retail stores.
He also received word that the suspects may have been driven to West Newbury via taxi cab.
Johnson called Family Cab, and its dispatch log confirmed Waller and Holmes had hired a taxi cab to pick them up at a McDonald’s restaurant in Bradford and drop them off on Farm Lane in West Newbury. The same taxi cab picked the two men up hours later and returned them to 1 Water St., just a few blocks away from McDonald’s.
Johnson traveled to Middleton House of Correction where Waller was being held following his arrest on numerous breaking and entering charges out of Haverhill. During that interview, Waller admitted to his role in the car breaks and the unauthorized use of credit cards. He then told police that his partner was Holmes, according to the report.