Citizen's Arrest! Compass Lane Resident Apprehends Escapee
Waltham man suspected in at least two burglaries had escaped from police cruiser.
A Waltham couple is scheduled to be arraigned in Lowell District Court Tuesday morning on a multitude of charges in connection with a house break on Shawsheen Street Monday morning.
The arrests of Jonathan D. Miller, 29, and Amanda A. Miller, 22, both of 49 Derby St., Apt. 1, Waltham, came after a bizarre series of events that included a Tewksbury Police officer happening upon a car chase on Shawsheen Street and one of the suspects escaping from a Tewksbury Police cruiser, only to be captured later by Compass Lane resident and former Board of Selectman candidate Robert Marcin.
Police Chief Timothy Sheehan called the arrests and the subsequent recapture of Jonathan Miller a team effort between the Police Department and residents who were willing to get involved.
"I thank the press, I thank the residents because obviously we can't do this without their help," said Sheehan. "Today, when that individual escaped custody from the cruiser, he was first observed by a construction crew that was willing to not look the other way and bring that to the attention of the police. While we were out canvassing the area we had a witness who said the individual came to her front door and took off running in the direction of Compass Lane.
"It's often that it is a resident or it's something that goes out in the media that helps us resolve an incident or a crime that has occurred."
According to Sheehan, the incident began at roughly 10:40 a.m., when Tewksbury K9 Officer Albert Piccolo was travelling west on Shawsheen Street and was flagged down by a driver in a van travelling in the opposite direction. The passenger in the van told Piccolo that the people in the gray Toyota Camry they had been following had stolen something from their home.
The officer then caught up with and pulled over the Camry. According to the report, the officer was able to identify the driver as Amanda Miller and the passenger as Jonathan Miller. A quick check indicated they both had outstanding warrants from Lawrence District Court and both were placed under arrest. According to Sheehan, they were both handcuffed and were placed in the back of separate police cruisers that had arrived to provide backup.
Amanda Miller was brought to TPD headquarters for booking.
While Jonathan Miller waited in the back of a cruiser, the remaining officers searched the Toyota and interviewed the occupants of the van that had triggered the incident. A male passenger in the van said the Millers were suspected of stealing jewelry from his home on Bemis Circle a month earlier. He said the crime had not been reported because Amanda Miller was a niece of the family and they didnt want to get her into trouble.
However, the man said he and the driver of the van spotted the Millers backing out of a Shawsheen Street driveway and immediately stated following them.
Meanwhile, the search of the car uncovered evidence, said Sheehan, including a jewelry box that contained a class ring from Shawsheen Tech inscribed with a woman's name in it. That ring was later traced to a home at 865 Shawsheen St., which police believe the Millers broke into, said Sheehan. Additional evidence from that crime was also recovered from the Toyota and Amanda Miller confessed to the Shawsheen Street break-in, according to Sheehan.
At this point, at around 11:20 a.m., a group of nearby construction workers alerted to the fact that a man had just gotten out of a police cruiser and taken off running down Shawsheen Street toward Compass Lane while still handcuffed in the rear.
Sheehan said the escape was made possible because a door to the cruiser had not been completely secured.
"He had been moving around inside the car and (officers) went back and checked him out, made sure he didn't have anything in his possession, any weapons or anything he was trying to get (out of his pockets). They took a second look, put him back in the car and (Miller) indicated that when the door shut the second time it didn't close all the way. He shouldered the door and was able to get out of the car."
According to Sheehan, all of the department’s resources were deployed to the scene. A perimeter was set up which included Tewksbury units and mutual aid units from Andover PD, Wilmington PD, and the State Police. The Tewksbury Police Department K-9 Unit began searching the area inside the perimeter while K-9 Units from Westford PD, the State Police, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, Burlington PD, and others responded to the scene.
The State Police Air Wing was also requested and flew up from Plymouth. A CodeRED emergency notification was also sent to 2,500 residents in the area of the incident providing a description of the suspect and asking for anything suspicious to be reported to police immediately.
The initial search began around Breckinridge Road but shifted to Compass Lane after the witness said she saw the suspect heading in that direction.
Around this time, Robert Marcin, a 30-year Tewksbury resident, thought he heard noises inside his home at 14 Compass Lane. He was home alone at the time and said he really didn’t think anything of it until he heard helicopters getting closer, saw cruisers on his street and heard police dogs right outside his home.
Marcin took a cursory look around his home and, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, sat down to watch television. But then he thought about his utility/laundry room, located the lower level of the split-level home and accessible through a ground-level back door.
"When I did that, that's when I discovered the escapee," said Marcin. "He was down against the wall (behind the washing machine). I saw part of his body, his shoulder, and I just grabbed him (by the shoulders). And he said 'please don't hurt me.' And I said, 'hurt you? You're going outside, pal.'"
And with that, at roughly 12:15 p.m., Marcin led Miller out the back door, around to the front of the house and into the waiting arms of several Tewksbury and State Police officers.
In addition to the warrant out of Lawrence District Court (a drug charge), Jonathan Miller is being charged with resisting arrest, breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a felony, larceny over $250, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit a crime.
In addition to the warrant out of Lawrence District Court (a drug charge), Amanda Miller is charged with breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a felony, larceny over $250 and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Sheehan said they have asked prosecutors to try and have the Millers held without bail. He also said additional charges are possible as police investigate the alleged theft of jewelry from the Bemis Circle home.