March 06. 2014 11:12AM

Pelham police arrest Mass. man near scene of thefts from cars


PELHAM — A Lowell, Mass., man was arrested Wednesday night after police say they found items taken from cars parked in driveways on Kopers Lane inside his disabled vehicle parked on Old Gage Hill Road.

Duran McNeil, 30, was arrested after officers were called just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Kopers Lane where two parked vehicles were broken into within the half-hour. While there, police were called again about other cars that were broken into on Indian Valley Road.

Officers checking the area came across an unoccupied, disabled vehicle, its hazard lights flashing, parked on Old Gage Hill Road.

As the officer neared it, he saw a man, identified by police as McNeil, walking toward the vehicle.

McNeil initially told the officer he was walking from Salem and knew nothing about the disabled vehicle. However, when the officer checked the vehicle's registration, it came back with the same address McNeil had given in identifying himself, police said.

A second officer who arrived on scene looked inside the vehicle and saw multiple bags of loose change, a green purse and some power tools.

A third officer, at a victim’s residence on Kopers Lane taking a report, confirmed a green purse was stolen from that victim's vehicle.

Police confronted McNeil with the information and he allegedly changed his story several times. Ultimately, police said he admitted he broke into several cars in the area and was attempting to flee when he saw the officer.

McNeill is charged with loitering or prowling, three counts of theft by unauthorized taking, possession of drugs, and driving under revocation or suspension.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash at his arraignment Thursday morning in 10th Circuit Court, Salem District Division.