Essex County DA’s Office Receives Guilty Plea to a Multi-State ATM Burglary Ring
We are happy to kick off our 2018 Hawk Newsletter with a great Case of the Quarter coming from the Massachusetts State Police and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation began in October 2015 after a report from the Mansfield (MA) Police Department of a burglary that occurred at an Apple retail store. Trooper Mike Murphy, the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit and numerous other local departments in the New England area investigated the 10 month long case. Assistant District Attorney Phillip Mallard then prosecuted the case. Through their tireless work three men were connected to a multi-state burglary enterprise and subsequently charged and pled guilty to multiple counts of larceny, breaking and entering, conspiracy, and receiving stolen property.
In October 2015 officers from the Mansfield (MA) Police Department responded to an Apple retail store (Simply Mac) to find a hole cut in a neighboring business that led into the Simply Mac store. The break-in was very sophisticated to where the suspects dismantled the video and alarm systems so that police wouldn’t respond. Since they could operate their burglary without the worry of a police response, the suspects stole a total of $119,000 worth of Apple products and were able to get away.
While the burglary was organized and sophisticated, one of the suspects did make a mistake; they linked their own phone number to some of the stolen products.
Later the next year in March, officers in Wellesley, MA responded to a store at 2 a.m. where the same suspects from Mansfield were committing a burglary. The suspects were unable to complete their burglary and evaded police; however, police were able to identify the two vehicles the suspects used to get away. One of these vehicles was registered to one of the suspect’s Apple ID address and the name of his significant other. Fingerprints were recovered from the crime scene that confirmed that a second suspect was also at the scene. Both suspects were on probation and their information was obtained by investigators, including their personal phone numbers.
Utilizing CellHawk and its powerful cell site mapping capabilities, Trooper Murphy and ADA Mallard obtained phone records for each suspect’s phone number that resulted in over 400,000 records. To complete the analysis manually would have taken weeks, or possibly months. But with the power of CellHawk, investigators were able to analyze and map the suspects movements in minutes!
Investigators looked at their pattern of life and noticed irregularities in their movements that were consistent with the two previous break-ins. Investigators contacted those agencies to inquire about any possible burglaries in that area. With CellHawk’s precise and accurate interpretation of the Call Detail Records (CDRs), investigators were able to connect the men to thirteen burglaries and attempted burglaries of ATMs and commercial businesses.
Mr. Mallard stated the suspects were “disciplined enough” to turn off their cell phones while committing their crimes, but they left their phones on during their scouting trips and could be seen on surveillance video “casing” the stores.
ADA Mallard took the evidence that was mapped by CellHawk and presented it in court. It depicted the movements of the suspects through the animation of their phones. The visualization and power of the evidence overwhelmed the defendants to where they had to plead guilty.
Investigators were able to seize over $82,000 in currency, a 9mm firearm, tools, and half a dozen vehicles that were purchased with stolen money.
Hawk Analytics congratulates ADA Mallard, Trooper Mike Murphy and the numerous other departments for a job well done. The Hawk team truly appreciates the value of our software when we learn of these great cases and how CellHawk is instrumental in putting bad guys behind bars.
See the attached MEDIA RELEASE by the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
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