Were men in Veterans' Park connected to attempted break-in?

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On April 3, a Barrington police officer spotted two men wearing black clothing wandering out of the woods at Veterans’ Park in the middle of the night. Less than a week later, a resident in a neighborhood abutting the park told officers someone tried to break into their home.

Are the two incidents connected?

Barrington Police Chief John LaCross said it’s not clear whether the two reports are tied together, but didn’t rule it out. He said a few days passed between the events — the attempted break-in on Devonshire Drive near Brickyard Pond was reported on Tuesday, April 9.

The homeowner called police at 7:42 a.m. and told officers that someone had tried to tamper with several windows on a sliding door that led to a porch.

“This has been the MO for a lot of these break-ins,” said Chief LaCross.

A rash of break-ins or attempted break-ins in Barrington surfaced in late February and have continued through March and the first few weeks of April. Police have arrested two men — Alexander Moore of Barrington and Robert Audette of Woonsocket — charging each with breaking and entering, but believe there are more suspects still on the loose.

Officers came across two suspicious characters in the early morning hours of April 3. The men, each wearing black hooded sweatshirts and black pants, were found walking in the woods at Veterans’ Park at 2:30 a.m., and when questioned, said they had been "recording sounds" near the pond. (Police first discovered the men’s car parked in the rear lot of the park.)

Officers searched the car but found nothing incriminating, and then released the men.

Police are also investigating a possible attempted break-in on Milton Road near Haines Park that was reported on April 11. A neighbor told police that he noticed a window screen had been knocked out of a basement window. It did not appear that anyone had entered the home.

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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.