Barrington break-ins by partying teens is a recurring problem

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Late Sunday night, July 28,  a Fireside Drive family returned home from vacation to find that someone — possibly local teenagers — had been using their house as a party pad while the homeowners were away. The intruders left the home in shambles. Old food covered the kitchen counters, empty alcohol bottles were all over the basement. It was also reported that discarded condom wrappers and underwear had been left behind.

As disturbing as this scene was to the Fireside Drive family, it was not the first time Barrington residents have been victimized while away on vacation.

In Jan. 2012, three Barrington teenagers broke into an Elm Lane home on Nayatt Point while the owners were out of town. Word quickly spread to other teenagers in town and the party swelled. According to police, between 45 and 90 teenagers attended the party, and caused extensive damage to the home. Police eventually arrested more than a dozen teenagers.

In April 2010, a group of 20 East Providence teenagers partied inside an empty house on Winthrop Drive in Barrington while the homeowner was away on vacation. The owner of the home called police to report that someone had been inside the house, taped blankets to a window casing where the gathering had taken place and used the oven to cook food. The party-goers had also left some trash behind. Police charged all 20 teenagers involved in the incident. It was later discovered that one of the teens had done work at the home and left a window slightly ajar so that he could return back later and use the spot to party.

In Nov. 2009, a Barrington family vacationing in Florida discovered that their home had been used as a party destination while they were away. According to a police report, the New Meadow Road residents were away on vacation when one of the children received a text message stating that people were in their yard. The homeowner called his father in Bristol and asked him to check on the house. When the father stopped into the Barrington home he reportedly found that people had been in the house and left a “mess” in the basement. In that case, the homeowner’s teenage son said that he told a friend where a spare key to the home was hidden.

In Nov. 2008, police arrested eight teenagers after they broke into a vacant house and held a short-lived party in home’s basement. Officers charged all eight boys — there were five 14-year-olds, two 15-year-olds and one 16-year-old — with breaking and entering during the daytime, which is a felony. They also charged one of the 15-year-olds with possession of marijuana-first offense. A Lincoln Avenue resident had called police and told them a number of teenagers were entering the vacant house.

And in Feb. 2006, an attentive neighbor spoiled party plans for nine teenagers at a Plymouth Drive home. The neighbor grew concerned about youngsters in the home because she knew the homeowners were out of the country on vacation. She called police at around 9 p.m., and reported the ongoing party. Officers arrived minutes later and detained all nine teenagers at the house — none of them lived in the home. Police transported all of the teens to the police station, and later called all the subjects’ parents. Officers charged three individuals.

Barrington Police Chief John LaCross said his department is working hard to find the people responsible for the Fireside Drive break-in. He also asked that anyone with information call the department's tip line at 437-3933.

"Naturally, I’m frustrated," said the chief.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.