On November 17, 2017 at approximately 9:35 PM, Officer Anderson (West 6) and I (Officer Mark Nevin / West 5) were dispatched to 23X Highland Avenue for a possible active B & E. A resident reported that she heard her rear porch screen door slam shut and then heard someone going down the stairs.
Officers Clark (East 4) and Sullivan (K9) were nearby and were first on-scene. They performed a perimeter check of the building and spoke with the reporting party, XXXXX. XXXXX explained that she was in her kitchen cooking at about 9:25 PM when she heard her screen door leading to the back porch and steps slam shut, and footsteps running down a set of inside stairs leading to the building’s shared basement. XXXXX lives on the second floor. Someone unknown to her intentionally climbed two flights of stairs and then descended more stairs into the basement. This apparently deliberate act caused XXXXX to fear for her safety.
Officer Kim (West 7) and I arrived soon thereafter and went to the rear of the building. We observed a large yellow and blue backpack on the ground near the basement door. While we were standing near the door we heard a lot of scuffling noise coming from inside the basement. We knocked on the door, identified ourselves as police, demanded to know who was in the basement, and that whoever was in the basement needed to open the door. We did this several times and continued to hear noises, but did not get a response.
I began to inspect the abandoned backpack when, Officer Anderson opened the basement door from the inside. He observed some motion in the basement and yelled, “Police! Come out with your hands up! Show your hands!” Officer Kim and I immediately entered the building to back up Officer Anderson. The defendant was compliant. He was handcuffed by Officer Anderson and pat frisked for weapons.
The defendant identified himself as Daniel Cunha of 9 Pinckney Street in Somerville. He stated that he was “just smoking a bowl in the basement.” Later he changed his story to “just smoking a roach.” He also stated that he entered through the basement door, which was locked and showed no signs of forced entry. Once we determined that he had no official business at the residence, I arrested Mr. Cunha for breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony. Officer Anderson read Mr. Cunha his Miranda rights. I asked Mr. Cunha if the backpack was his, and he stated it was not.
The backpack contained a tarp, a blue and white Tyvek suit, a water purifier, and a MacBook Air. Next to the backpack was a small pouch with miscellaneous tools. All of these items were entered as evidence and submitted to the property room. Photos of the evidence were taken and will be attached to this report.
Mr. Cunha matches the description of one of two men that are believed to be working together to commit B and Es in Somerville. He insisted that he was alone and no one else was in the basement. Officer Sullivan worked with his partner K9 Lobo to thoroughly clear the basement. No one else was found.
Mr. Cunha was transported to the station by the prisoner transport wagon and booked by Lt. Rymill.
Additional photos were taken of the areas where Mr. Cunha was located and will be attached to this report.
Respectfully submitted by,
Officer Mark Nevin, #300
Somerville Police Department