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Published: July 15, 2008 05:28 am ShareThisPrintThis
Man gets five to seven years in prison for GPS theft
By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

DANVERS - A Saugus man will spend the next five to seven years in state prison after admitting Friday to smashing a car window and stealing a GPS and a leather jacket - unaware that two Danvers police detectives were watching.
James Racca, 49, pleaded guilty to charges of breaking and entering and larceny during a hearing in Salem Superior Court, where Judge David Lowy imposed the prison term.
On Jan. 12, 2007, Danvers police Detectives Tim Williamson and Robert Sullivan were in an unmarked police car in the parking lot of Costco, a Route 1 "warehouse club" store, after police had received reports of break-ins to cars parked there and at other Route 1 businesses.
As they watched, they noticed a vehicle traveling around the lot slowly, then saw it pull in next to a parked car.
Then they saw Racca smash the window and grab the GPS and the jacket from the car, prosecutor Michael Patten said.
Racca and a female accomplice were arrested.
Police later conducted a search at a motel room in Peabody where the couple had been staying and found other GPS devices, including one stolen several days earlier in another break at the Costco lot. A judge suppressed that evidence after a hearing, however, finding that the application for a search warrant for the motel room was insufficient.
Racca had also been indicted on charges of being a common and notorious thief and a habitual criminal, but those charges were dropped in consideration of his willingness to plead guilty to the burglary and theft charges.
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