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Taunton cops find tool cache

Police led on chase downtown
By: R.J. HALLIDAYGazette Staff Writer 12/03/2004

TAUNTON - A wanted city man and his friend led nearly a dozen police officers from three communities on a foot chase through downtown yesterday morning, wading across the frigid Mill River and darting behind city businesses before they were finally apprehended.

Jason Correia, 20, of 290 Whittenton St., and Arthur Meack IV, 24, of Fall River, were arrested on assault and resisting arrest charges after the pair fled city police who tried to arrest Correia in a multi-family home on Summer Street for several outstanding warrants.

Patrolmen Eric Nichols and Peter Corr arrived at 44 Summer St. at around 10:30 a.m. to arrest Correia, who was due to appear yesterday in Taunton District Court to face multiple charges, including unarmed burglary, destruction of property, assault with a knife and violation of an abuse prevention order.

Nichols entered the foyer of the building, which houses several apartments, and saw Meack and Correia through two double doors walking down a corridor toward him. Meack looked up, spotted the uniformed police officer, and continued in Nichols' direction, pushing the double-door open and allegedly striking Nichols in the face with the door. Meack and Correia then fled down the stairs and ran into the street, where Corr gave chase and radioed dispatch for assistance, according to Nichols' police report.

Nichols and Corr chased the pair behind the George Building and into the field behind the Taunton Catholic Middle School. Then Meack and Correia, apparently undeterred by the November weather, jumped into the Mill River, police said.

Meack surrendered to Corr on the other side of the river. Upon his arrest he told police he fled because he has an outstanding warrant for failure to pay child support, police said.

Correia, meanwhile, jumped out of the river and kept running in the direction of High Street. At this time several police officers from Taunton, Raynham and Attleboro, some off-duty at the time, descended upon the scene and began searching the area.

Within minutes a city Department of Public Works employee flagged down Patrolman Richard Carreiro's cruiser and told the officer he saw a white male run across the backyard of a residence on High Street toward Hill Street. Carreiro searched the area, and spotted wet footprints leading to a locked side door at the side of the house, and more footprints tracked through a pile of dog feces at the back of the yard's fence, police said.

Meanwhile, Raynham police Det. Sgt. James Donovan was leaving Taunton District Court when he heard the chase on his scanner. Donovan and his K-9 dog, Jumbo, were searching High Street towards Winthrop Street when Jumbo led him to Dr. Joseph Areias' dentist office at 146 High St.

The receptionist there told Donovan that a drenched, shivering man had just approached her desk and asked to use her telephone. When she asked if he wanted her to call the police, he said no, made his own telephone call, and fled down High Street, crossing Winthrop Street in the direction of the Winthrop Street Baptist Church, police said.

Moments later Patrolman Eric Moura saw Correia run behind Eagan Package Store on Cohannet Street. Moura radioed for help, and he and Patrolman Nichols arrested Correia behind Dermody Cleaners, police said.

Correia was taken to Morton Hospital and Medical Center, where he was treated for a cut on his hand which he suffered while climbing a fence.

Correia and Meack were both held without bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned today in Taunton District Court, Correia on a charge of resisting arrest, and Meack on one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (door).

©The Taunton Gazette 2004

Posted Fri Dec 03 2004, 12:15:

Taunton cops find tool cache

By Terence J. Downing, Enterprise staff writer
TAUNTON - Police on Thursday say they broke up a ring of thieves responsible for stealing thousands of dollars in tools and electronic equipment during a six-month wave of break-ins.

Jason M. Correira, 20, of 290 Whittenton St., and Arthur Meack IV, 24, of East Taunton, were apprehended Thursday after a wild chase and search through downtown.

Following their arrest, police obtained a search warrant and raided a house at 46 Pine St. about 6:45 p.m.

Police recovered more than $20,000 worth of power tools, tools, stereos, car stereos, VCRs, computers, cell phones, ammunition, a sawed-off shotgun, a stun gun, a Sony PlayStation, black ski masks and other items.

Police removed two truck loads of goods from a bedroom and the basement of the house.

Police found bags of ammunition, including bullets that can pierce police armored vests. Hundreds of bullets and shells were found in a safe, police said.

The tools included compressors, saws, drills, nail guns, power washers, battery chargers and other equipment used by carpenters, contractors and construction workers.

Patrolman Eric Nichols, who headed the investigation with Patrolman Peter J. Corr, said the suspects targeted trucks, houses and businesses of contractors, where they stole tools.

"They specialized in tools," said Nichols.

He said the wave of break-ins began last June and has continued through this week.

Tools were also stolen from two police officers.

Nichols said the thefts were especially difficult for self-employed contractors, like Adam Almeida.

Almeida came to the police station Thursday night to recover some of the tools stolen from him.

"You don't know how much this means to me," Almeida said.

Almeida said he had to spend thousands of dollars to replace equipment that was stolen.

He said it was the money he planned to use to buy Christmas presents for his family.

Dan DaRosa, owner of B&D Construction, also came to the station looking for tools stolen from his business.

"I don't know if it's here. It was stolen a while ago," DaRosa said.

Police believe many of the items that were stolen have already been sold by the suspects.

Police have obtained a warrant for the arrest of a third person, Jacob Rickell, 24, of 46 Pine St.

Nichols said the stolen goods were found in Rickell's house, but his parents were unaware.

Nichols said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected. Police also expect to recover more stolen goods.

Nichols said police got a break in the case earlier this week when an informant provided them with information about the three suspects.

Police searched for the suspects Wednesday and checked specific areas hoping to catch them in the act of breaking in.

Police went to Taunton District Court on Thursday hoping to find Correia, who was scheduled to appear at a hearing on a pending rape charge.

"He didn't show up," Nichols said.

The informant later gave Nichols and Corr information that led them to a multi-family house at 44 Summer St., where they found Correia and Meack.

When Meack spotted police coming in, he came at them and forced a door open, hitting Nichols in the face.

Meack and Correia ran out of the house and down Summer Street.

As Corr and Nichols chased them, Meack and Correia jumped into the Mill River and swam to the other side.

Meack stopped and surrendered when Corr ordered him to stop, but Correia kept running.

More than a dozen police officers began searching for Correia, including Raynham Patrolman James Donovan and his police dog Jumbo, Patrolman Robert Swartz and his police dog Rexx and off-duty Attleboro Patrolman Michael Trembly.

A DPW worker flagged down Patrolman Richard Carreiro and told him he saw Correia run across High Street into a backyard, heading toward Hill Street.

Carreiro went to the house and found wet footprints in the yard.

Donovan and his dog tracked Correia to 146 High St., a dentist's office where the secretary said a wet and shivering man with a bloody hand had come in a minute earlier asking to use the phone.

She said she asked the man if he wanted her to call police and he said no. She told police Correia made a call and ran off toward Winthrop Street.

Donovan and his dog tracked Correia to the area of Winthrop Street Baptist Church, where Patrolman Eric Moura spotted Correia running behind Eagan's Package Store on Cohannet Street.

Moura and Nichols chased Correia, who was captured behind Dermody Cleaners on Cohannet Street.

Meack and Correia were held overnight without bail and are scheduled to be arraigned today on charges that include receiving stolen property.

Correia is also charged with resisting arrest and is wanted on several warrants on larceny charges. Meack is also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a door, and he was also arrested on a warrant on a charge of failure to pay child support.
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