Sandown man convicted of carrying out burglaries
BRENTWOOD — A Sandown man who prosecutors say called homes on his cell phone before looting them of jewelry and electronics, was convicted of carrying out seven residential burglaries between 2009 and 2010.
A jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges against Joshua Fowler, 34, formerly of Derry, on Thursday afternoon in Rockingham County Superior Court.
The verdicts rejected testimony by Fowler, who claimed he had no role in the break-ins that happened at homes in Derry, Londonderry and Hampstead between October 2009 and March 2010.
Prosecutors told jurors that there wasn’t direct evidence tying Fowler to the burglaries, but his cell phone records and pawn slips linked him to the burglarized homes and stolen valuables.
“The circumstantial facts scream that he was there,” Blanchard said. “He’s using his phone to make sure no one is home.”
Blanchard said during closing arguments that Fowler would dial star-67 as a way to hide his phone number to homeowners that he was targeting, but it didn’t mask his calls from police.
“He is calling the victims of burglaries,” Blanchard said. “He must be the most unlucky man in the world.”Blanchard said signals from Fowler’s cell phone also placed him near the burglarized homes, and the pawn shops where stolen items were sold. Fowler testified on Wednesday that he was forced to talk to police after being taken into custody at a Lawrence, Mass., pawn shop, and had no role in the break-ins. He told jurors that he sometimes lent the cell phone linked to the burglaries to a friend.
Defense lawyer Mark Stevens argued that prosecutors had no direct evidence linking his client to the burglaries and asked a judge to dismiss the case on Wednesday.
Judge N. William Delker denied that request, saying the jury had enough evidence to decide the case.
Fowler faces up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison and a $4,000 fine on each of the seven counts of burglary.
Prosecutors offered alternative theories that Fowler either broke into the homes, or acted as an accomplice.