Hampton Falls man challenges search that led to burglary arrest
BRENTWOOD — A Hampton Falls man charged with burglary said that state police had no right to look inside his trailer where they reportedly found items stolen from a neighbor’s home because they lacked a search warrant.
Nicholas Zucconi, 32, is accused of breaking into a neighbor’s home on Dec. 22 and stealing jewelry, flatware and a woman’s driver’s license. He is facing charges of burglary, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled drug in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Defense lawyers want a judge to throw out the evidence that state police found leading to Zucconi’s arrest.
Public defender Amy Beaton said in court papers that her client’s father, Lenny Zucconi, was essentially duped by police before allowing police to look in the trailer that he and his son lived in.
“In this case, the officer showed up at Lenny Zucconi’s home late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve,” Beaton said in court papers. “His behavior was inherently deceptive in that he misled Mr. Zucconi to believe that he was just doing routine canvassing of the neighborhood in his investigation of the burglary.”
At the time, Nicholas Zucconi was already a suspect and police were “looking for evidence against him in support of a search warrant,” according to Beaton.
Prosecutors said that state police were well within their rights to inspect the trailer and made no secret of what they were doing.
Zucconi’s father invited troopers to inspect his son’s room, stating, “Do you want to go through his room? You can. It’s right here,” according to Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway.
Trooper John Kelly then went on to give Leonard Zucconi general information about the burglary and advised him that he was trying to eliminate his son as a suspect, according to prosecutors.
The victim told police that the burglar had broken into her home through the garage while she was sleeping. The homeowner uses an oxygen tank when she sleeps, which police believe may have masked any noise the burglar made during the break-in, according to a police affidavit. A judge is expected to hear testimony about what led to the evidence later this week.