BERLIN — One week after a Berlin father-and-daughter team were arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges for their roles in a three-week theft spree, local law enforcement agencies this week are still looking for more potential victims to come forward.
Between April 26 and May 14, Berlin Police received several reports of burglaries and thefts from residences in the town. Through the course of the investigation, police were able to develop several suspects. Last Tuesday, Berlin Police, with the assistance of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), were able to secure a search-and-seizure warrant for a residence on Baker Street and arrested James Hughlett, 61, of Berlin.
Through further investigation, officers were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Kate Hughlett, 23, of Berlin, who was located last Wednesday and arrested. James Hughlett has been charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of theft. Kate Hughlett was charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and four counts of theft.
This week, WCBI officials announced through a release they were looking for other residents who might have been victimized by the burglary spree and urged citizens to survey their personal belongings and report what, if anything, they are missing. In a separate action, WCBI delivered notes to residents throughout Berlin this week informing them of the robbery spree allegedly carried out by the Hughletts and urging them to take stock of their belongings to see if they could have been victimized.
“The Berlin Police Department and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation are investigating numerous burglaries to residences in your area,” the letter delivered to residents’ mailboxes on Wednesday reads. “Due to the nature of the burglaries, investigators are requesting that you conduct a check of any jewelry or personal electronics that you have in your residence in order to discover additional victims.”
Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing said this week the most recent burglaries in the town allegedly carried out by the Hughletts were crimes of opportunity.
“There were four burglaries that were reported and two more connected to the Hughletts that were reported after the fact,” he said. “In every one of these cases, the doors or windows were unlocked. They would walk the streets and see a house that looked unsecure. That’s how simplistic they were.”
Anyone who believes they might have been victimized during the latest burglary spree is urged to contact WCBI at 443-783-0444.
Contrary to initial reports, it is not believed that the Hughletts were connected to a spree of similar burglaries carried out in Berlin last spring. Downing said this week that investigation remains open and a suspect, or person of interest, has been identified, although no formal charges have been filed.