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By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
September 13, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - Police are investigating a recent wave of burglaries in the downtown business district.
At least five businesses have been broken into over the last 10 days, according to police reports. The perpetrators have destroyed property and stolen thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
Perhaps the most egregious was a Thursday nighttime break-in at the Arthur Moniz Gallery at 22 William St. Six original watercolor paintings along with scrimshaw, pottery, a cribbage board and other items were stolen.
Cheryl Moniz, co-owner of the gallery, said the suspects smashed two side windows and shattered a shadow box. She estimated the total damages to be about $10,000.
"We've had a robbery before but not to the degree of this," she said. "It's just very disheartening. You believe in the area and then you see these things happen. It sets you back a little bit."
Police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva said police are investigating the break-ins, but declined to disclose specific details, including whether one or more suspects are involved, so as not to compromise the investigation.
"We're following up some promising leads and we are investigating this vigorously," he said.
The first nighttime break-in occurred Sept. 3 at Cobblestone Restaurant on South Sixth Street. A front glass window was broken, but police said nothing appeared to be stolen.
On Sept. 8, the Bristol Community College annex building at 258 Union St. was burglarized. The front door's glass pane had been removed. A television and a VCR were taken from a classroom, police said.
Also this week, there was an attempted break-in Thursday night at Costa's Convenience Store, at 211 Union St. The glass from the front door had been removed but nothing appeared to be missing, police reported.
Converse Photo Supply, at 12 N. Sixth St., was burglarized early Friday morning. The glass front door was removed and a display case was smashed with a rock. Approximately 20 film-type cameras, with a total estimated value of $500, were stolen.
Lt. Silva said it would be conjecture to describe the pattern of the break-ins.
"Typically most breaks are concentrated in a geographic area for a number of reasons," he said. "In this case, it's a downtown business district where there is not much going on after hours."
Lt. Silva urged anyone with information to contact police at the anonymous tip line at (508) 99-CRIME.

· Retired Fed, Active Special
8,897 Posts
Lt. Silva urged anyone with information to contact police at the anonymous tip line at (508) 99-CRIME.
NO, No, No...Wrong!
Please contact Sheriff Hodgson at 508-995-6400
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