Witnesses help police foil morning housebreaks

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WESTPORT — Two men using screwdrivers in an attempt to pry their way into houses have been caught with considerable help from alert witnesses, Westport Police said Thursday afternoon.

The break-in attempts happened Monday and Tuesday in nearby north end neighborhoods close to Gifford Road and Route 6

Patrick Camara, 30, of 63 Sylvana St., Westport was first to be arrested after police said he broke into to a Washington Street house on Monday, Nov. 18, at approximately 10 a.m.

A neighbor told police he was watching as a man popped open a storm window.  The neighbor walked toward the suspect as the man hid inside a garage on the property.

Police say Mr. Camara fled on foot but the witness gave police a detailed clothing description which included fluorescent orange sneakers and a grey plaid shirt with a grey T-shirt underneath.

Mr. Camara fit the description and was detained by police on Route 6 (State Road) a short while later.

Detective Antonio J. Cestodio said the the witness identified Mr. Camara as the person whom he had seen break into the house, and evidence left at the scene confirmed the witness’ account  Mr. Camara was arrested on charges of attempting to commit a breaking and entering and possession of a burglary tool — a screwdriver police said he was carrying when caught.

The next day, Derek Pereira, 26, of 198 Wood St., Fall River was arrested after police say he broke into a house located at the intersection of Almada Street and Bill Street in Westport (right around the corner from Mr. Camara's Sylvana Street residence).

Det. Cestodio said that the homeowner arrived home at approximately 9 a.m. and saw the suspect at the rear door turning the door knob. That suspect had also used a screwdriver which police said he use to pierce the interior of the door jamb.

"The suspect told the homeowner he was looking for a lost dog and then fled ," Mr. Cestodio said. The homeowner followed Mr. Pareira in a vehicle and flagged down Officer Mike Silvia who was on a construction detail on Gifford Road.  Officer Silvia radioed additional officers as the man fled into the woods behind Route 88.

A passerby spotted the man as he left the woods by the highway and officers were able to catch him.  He was arrested and charged with breaking and entering and damage to property.  Mr. Pereira’s vehicle was parked at the CVS Pharmacy on State Road.  Several officers as well as detectives assisted during both investigations.

Westport police are asking that homeowners in the Gifford Road, Osborne Detectives suspect that Mr. Pareira may have attempted to gain entrance into other homes but was unsuccessful.

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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.