Three Arrested for East Greenwich Medical Office Burglary

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Three Arrested for East Greenwich Medical Office Burglary

When staff arrived for work early Monday morning on January 26, 2015 they were shocked to find their East Greenwich medical office had been robbed. Thousands of dollars of computers, iPads and prescription drugs were gone.

Making matters seemingly worse, the office is protected by an Electronic Alarms security system, but no alarm had sounded indicating a break-in over the weekend. In due time, however, the alarm would help lead police to the suspects.

“There was no sign of forced entry, so we immediately wanted to look at who had access to the building. Who had keys and alarm codes,” said East Greenwich Police Detective Kerrie Mazur, who led the investigation.

Mazur reviewed the arming and disarming data from the medical office alarm system, which is archived by servers in the Electronic Alarms Security Command Center. Mazur looked for unusual activity over the weekend of the burglary and developed a theory.

The company that cleans the medical office every Friday night had its own access code for the alarm system. Data showed that someone used that access code on Saturday, January 24 even though the company’s contract did not call for weekend cleaning.

Furthermore, Mazur reviewed alarm signal data going back several months prior to the break-in and saw no activity by the cleaning company on Saturdays prior to January 24.

“I asked an employee of the cleaning company if there were times when they weren’t able to finish cleaning on a Friday night so they returned the following Saturday, and he said ‘no’, never,” Mazur said.

As the investigation proceeded, police picked up an electronic geolocation signal from one of the stolen iMac computers. That signal led to a suspect who was associated with the son of the owner of the cleaning company and the pieces of the case came together, Mazur said.

Based on the investigation, East Greenwich police arrested Michael Smith, 20, of Cranston and Felix Martinez, 20 of Providence on charges of felony breaking and entering and larceny over $1,500. They also charged Eduardo Lopez, 22, of Providence, the son of the cleaning company owner, with two counts of felony conspiracy for allegedly planning the crime and providing the alarm access code to Smith and Martinez.

Mazur said Lopez worked on the crew cleaning the medical office and used that access to “case” the location and plan the crime. Mazur said there is no evidence the owner of the cleaning company had any knowledge of the son’s plans.

“It was very helpful to have access to the alarm information, so we could develop a pattern and history of the cleaning crew’s behavior,” Mazur said. “Not only were we able to identify and arrest the suspects, we were able to recover all the stolen material.”

Henry Guzeika, general manager of Electronic Alarms, said he was pleased the company could provide important information that helped police make the arrests and recover the stolen items. “The police did a great job,” Guzeika said. “And this case shows the value of using different security access codes for different people.”

Unique codes not only document employee or contractor access, they can be used to send parental notifications when children come home from school and enter their own code on a home security panel, Guzeika said.

“What you don’t want to do is have the same access code for everyone who uses the system,” Guzeika said. “Use of multiple codes is just one example of the powerful features security systems have today, so home or business owners should really understand and use the capabilities they have.”

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