Housebreaks cleared

WESTFIELD – City police report that ten cases of breaking and entering have been cleared due to an interview with a suspect who has been charged in several similar crimes.
Det. Sgt. Stephen K. Dickinson said Tuesday that he and his fellow detectives have been investigating 41 housebreaks which occurred between the beginning of November, 2012, and March 14, 2013 and had found sufficient evidence to charge Gary M. Hutchins, 37, of 47 Broad Street, with seven of those crimes.
He said that Hutchins was interviewed Tuesday as part of a plea agreement and identified ten houses which he said he had broken into in order to steal.
Dickinson said that prosecutors had agreed not to bring charges against Hutchins for breaking into the additional houses he identified as long as he named the persons involved and explained what he did with the property stolen during those crimes.
The detective said “we had no physical evidence” to connect Hutchins to any of the other crimes under investigation and said “sometimes you have to make an agreement to get closure” for the victims.
He said that sometimes stolen property is also recovered if a suspect is granted limited immunity but said none of the stolen property was recovered in this instance.
Some stolen items had been recovered previously and had led to the charges already filed against Hutchins.
In a document previously filed at Westfield District Court in support of the charges filed against Hutchins, Dickinson had detailed how the suspect had disposed of the property he stole (largely jewelry) and used the proceeds to buy heroin for himself and a confederate. Because he expected the stolen property had been sold shortly after it was stolen, Dickinson said that he had not expected to recover any additional property for the victims but said that the man’s confession might help the victims find a modicum of peace of mind.
He said that Hutchins did not admit to the seven breaks for which he has been charged but said that the man’s admissions have gone a long way toward clearing the backlog of housebreaks the detectives have been investigating.
He said that the a team of previously charged suspects, Christopher D. Moll, 45, formerly of 2063 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, and Alfred W. Jasmin, 66, of 189 Springfield Road, had been believed to be responsible for 17 of the 41 reported breaks but Hutchins’ confession reduced that number to 13.
Dickinson said that when the ten breaks Hutchins admits responsibility for are coupled with the seven he is charged with and the 13 Moll and Jasmine have been charged with, only 11 of the 41 crimes under investigation are still outstanding.
He said that he has hopes that information offered by Hutchins during the interview will help police clear some of the remaining 11 cases.

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