Neighbor shocked by break-in on Fireside Drive

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On Fireside Drive, people know their neighbors. They know the families around the corner on Rustwood Drive, and one street over on Copper Kettle.

They look out for each other, said one Fireside Drive resident, which makes news of the recent break-in and illicit drinking party that took place at one house while the family was out of town, all the more surprising.

On Sunday night, July 28, the Woodard family returned home from a vacation in Virginia to find their home in shambles. Someone, or a group of people, had entered their home while they were away, tacked blankets over the windows, and used the house to party. Eventually, the intruders left food rotting on the countertops and stole cash from the house.

Police said it was not clear how long the individuals had been inside the home, but one neighbor said she believed the party took place on Thursday night, July 25. She said her family was not home when the incident took place, and therefore didn’t see anything happening.

“I feel bad for them,” she said of the Woodards.

Another neighbor said his family also was out of town when the incident occurred, but added that he was very surprised no one else saw anything that signaled trouble.

He said people along Fireside Drive and the surrounding streets know each other well. The families will host neighborhood parties and the children will play together.

It’s the type of neighborhood, he said, where folks look out for each other.

“This is an extremely close neighborhood,” he said.

The neighborly bond was part of the reason why the Fireside Drive resident believes it was less likely the people who broke into the Woodard’s home stayed there for more than one night. He said someone would have seen something; he added that one woman who lives on the opposite side of Fireside reportedly noticed a car leaving the Woodard’s driveway on Thursday night.

“I just can’t believe that some kids have the gall and arrogance to break into someone’s home,” he said. “They should all be arrested. I think they should be charged to the fullest extent possible.”

Barrington police are investigating the break-in, and according to Chief John LaCross, detectives have identified a couple of individuals who may have been involved.

In similar incidents, people have faced charges ranging from felony breaking and entering to vandalism, to possession of alcohol (for underage individuals).

Anyone with information about the incident should call the confidential police tip line at 437-3933.

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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.