On February 13, 2016, I, Officer Tim Van Nostrand, was on duty and assigned to uniform patrol in marked cruiser 871.At approximately 2:18pm I, along with Officer Devin Schneider (E4) and Sgt. Michael Capasso (S8), were dispatched to Illinois Ave for an Unwanted Person.
Upon arrival I met with the reporting party, XXXXX. XXXXX stated an unknown male entered her unlocked front door and ascended into the residence. The unknown male first made contact with XXXXX’s son, who will be referred to as Juvenile 1. Juvenile 1 made contact on the intermediate landing between the first and second floors. Juvenile 1’s father, YYYYY, then came to the landing and questioned the male as to why he was in the residence. The unknown male demanded money and became increasingly aggressive and hostile.
Fearing a physical altercation was about to occur, XXXXX called 9-1-1 and requested police assistance. The family described the intruder as a Hispanic male in his 40’s, wearing a black jacket with a black hood worn up, and he was wearing distinctive bright blue sneakers. They also stated he appeared to be heavily intoxicated, and could smell what they recognized to be an alcoholic beverage emanating from his person.
The suspect fled on Illinois Ave toward Broadway, where he turned left and headed East on Broadway. Units searched the surrounding streets and businesses, but were unable to locate the suspect. The family was advised to dial 9-1-1 if they saw the suspect again.
Officer Tim Van Nostrand
Somerville Police Dept.
I informed all witnesses that I would continue this investigation with the intent of identifying this suspect. I gave XXXXX & YYYYY my contact information, and because they both stated, they believed they had seen this male in this area on other occasions, I gave them my work cell number with the caveat to call 911 if and when they saw this suspect again. Upon conclusion of these interviews both parties advised me that the first responding officer, Timothy Van Nostrand, had subsequently mentioned to them that the police may have located the suspect, but, due to the fact that the officer had stated that he was in custody for ‘other unrelated charges’, they took solace in this fact and were satisfied, at the time, with this result.
Upon my return to headquarters I perused our recent bookings and located an arrest on warrants for one, Pedro Herrera, on that same date by Officer T. Van Nostrand (approx. 2 hours after the incident). I had remarked to my partner, D3 Inspector S. Jones, that upon viewing the recent bookings at the beginning of my shift it had crossed my mind that this person could be a possible suspect in both this incident and a similar B&E Incident on Alston St. on 1/29/16. Upon further investigation, I informed the Patrol Commander for this shift that I would be looking at the clothing and footwear of Mr. Herrera, who was still in our custody. Upon reporting to Male Cell #3, Pedro’s cell, I observed a pair of sneakers matching the color described by the victims. Upon inspecting Mr. Herrera’s overcoat, the similarity was too close to ignore. I noticed that Mr. Herrera had a moustache and full beard that did not quite cover a four inch scar along the left jawline. I had probable cause to believe that this fact intrinsically points to Mr. Herrera ‘cinching’ the hood of this overcoat to mask this anomaly from anyone bearing witness against him. Accordingly, I seized the footwear and coat as evidence germane to my prosecution of Pedro Herrera, hereinafter, the defendant, in the break and entry on Illinois Ave, placing both XXXXX and YYYYY in fear.
Sgt. Det. Joseph Macarelli
Somerville Police Department