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Manchester firefighter's detective work pays off with arrest of burglary suspect

Staff Report
November 14. 2013 11:22PM
Clifford Williamson 

MANCHESTER — Kelly Allen, whose Vinton Street home was burglarized Wednesday, may be a firefighter, but he used detective skills to find the teen he said burglarized his house.

Allen, 51, told police he was in his home when he heard a knock at the door early Wednesday morning. He didn't answer, but looked out the window and saw a teenager walking toward a side door.

Instead of knocking at that door, said Allen, the teen walked around to the back of the house.

His interest piqued, Allen went outside to check on what was happening and saw his basement door wide open.

Allen went back inside through that door and, as he reached the main floor, spotted the teen running out the front door.

Allen told police he chased the youth for a short distance, but then returned home and got his car, driving around the neighborhood.

Based on the burglar's estimated age and clothing — jeans, sneakers and Memorial High colors — Allen deduced the burglar could be a student at Memorial High School and drove there.

He told police he spotted the youth in the school office, where Allen said he also saw his cell phone sticking out of the teen's pocket.

The teen, whose alleged extracurricular activity made him late for school, was in the office to get a permission slip for a late admission to class.

School resource officer Michelle Toepel went to the office and arrested Clifford Williamson, 17, of 551 Somerville St.

Williamson was charged with burglary and released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail. He is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 4 in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division.

Reached at home, Allen said he did not want to elaborate about what happened. Allen is a Manchester firefighter.

Police are seeking the public's help in finding the burglars who targeted three other city residences Wednesday:

• About 4 p.m., officer Scott Ardita responded to a W. Hillcrest Avenue address, where the window to a side door was shattered and jewelry and electronics taken.

• Also about 4 p.m., officer Brian Gillotte responded to a Pine Street address, where a third-floor apartment door was forced open sometime after 11:30 a.m. Clothing and cash were taken from a bedroom.

• About 6 p.m., officer Justin Maguire investigated a burglary that had just occurred at a first-floor apartment at 1 Balsam Way. The resident told police that as she entered through the front door, she heard noises near the bedroom.

Police said it appeared the burglar gained entry through a bedroom window. Officer Rob Megowen and K-9 Lynx followed a trail to Countryside Boulevard, where the burglar apparently entered a vehicle. Jewelry and a screwdriver were found during the track.

Police Lt. Maureen Tessier said there have been 28 burglaries in the first two weeks of November. There were 64 for the entire month of November 2012.

So far this year, there have been 800 burglaries, compared to 854 at this time last year.

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