Tim Correira//The Enterprise
Bridgewater police search for burglary suspects in the vicinity of Candy Lane in Bridgewater on Monday. A homeowner interrupted two thieves who had broken into his house.
Two thieves drop everything except OxyContin pills on way out the door
By Jessica Scarpati
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Joe Cruza stopped at home from his pharmacy job in Brockton for lunch, as usual, Monday afternoon.
He was perplexed when he entered his split-level house on Candy Lane and saw a man he thought was his adult son, Joe Jr., walk by upstairs.
But that was odd, he recalled thinking to himself, because his son's car wasn't outside.
As Cruza gazed up the carpeted half-flight of stairs around 1:30 p.m., he realized the man was a stranger. He had just walked into a burglary in his home.
"Let's get the hell out of here!" Cruza said he heard the man yell to an accomplice before tossing a bag full of jewelry and credit cards and zipping out the back door.
"If I get my hands on you, I'll kill you!" Cruza said he hollered after the men, whom he could only describe as two white teenagers.
The break was the latest in an onslaught of home, business and car burglaries that have plagued Bridgewater and its neighboring towns since July.
Although police have made some arrests, they have said investigations are ongoing.
On Monday, the thieves left most of the valuables they had collected inside, but Cruza and his wife, Marjorie, say they took one thing the couple may never be able to get back - peace of mind.
"You feel so violated," Cruza said later that afternoon. "This used to be a nice neighborhood."
Bridgewater police combed through the neighborhood near Candy Lane with police dogs for an hour Monday afternoon.
The two men were not found. Police said they appeared to be between 16 and 19 years old, but offered no further description.
The search delayed dismissals at nearby Bridgewater Middle School and Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, according to police and school officials.
"We didn't want any interference. It was a way of containing the scene," said police Lt. Christopher Delmonte, adding that the men were not believed to be armed.
The string of burglaries has unnerved residents in these suburbs, many of whom wistfully recall the days when they left cars and doors unlocked.
The Cruzas remember those days, but now use a deadbolt on their back door. They thought it was enough, But thieves busted a glass window near a back door leading to a covered patio.
"You lock it all up and they still break in," said Marjorie Cruza, shaking her head.
"I will install - after 33 years of living here - an alarm system that I never thought I'd need," said her husband.
The bandits had gathered jewelry and stacks of unused credit cards from a bureau drawer into a nearby beach bag, the couple said. One burglar dropped the bag before he fled, Cruza said.
The men had also brought a flat-screen television and laptop computer into the hallway, but also left them.
The only thing missing was 15 pills of OxyContin in the bathroom cabinet, leftover from a recent hip surgery Cruza had, he said.
"I think (the recent crime spree) is all drug-driven," Cruza said. "It's horrible."