Northfield police recover stolen car; search for home invasion suspect still on

  • Police respond to 115 Zion Hill Road for a report of a home invasion on Wednesday. Police said Thursday they had recovered a car stolen involved in the case, but a suspect remains unidentified and on the run. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 8/2/2018 2:15:03 PM

Police recovered a car stolen in a Northfield home invasion, but the suspect remains unidentified and on the run.

The 2010 Nissan Altima was recovered at the Canterbury park-and-ride off Exit 18 late Wednesday night. It was found undamaged and with the keys left inside, Northfield police Sgt. Michael Hutchinson said.

Investigators had the vehicle towed to the Northfield Police Department, where it will be processed for any evidence related to the early Wednesday home invasion at 115 Zion Hill Road, in which a 55-year-old man was allegedly threatened although unharmed.

“We are conducting extra patrols in the area today,” Hutchinson said in an interview Thursday. “We made citizens in the area aware of what happened by going house-to-house. At this point, we think it was a random and not a targeted act.”

The 55-year-old man was home alone Wednesday just before 9 a.m. when a stranger knocked on his door asking for help, claiming his vehicle was out of gas, police said. Once the stranger was inside the residence, he began rummaging through items in the home, placing some – including a laptop and cellphone – in a duffle bag he brought with him.

The intruder then reportedly told the victim to get on the floor or else he would shoot him.

“We can’t confirm there was an actual firearm,” Hutchinson said. “The victim did not see one, but we’re taking precautions just in case he is armed.”

At one point, the intruder grabbed a sneaker belonging to the victim and began undoing the laces, leading the victim to believe his hands were going to be tied together police said.

“He did threaten to tie the man up, but that didn’t happen,” Hutchinson said.

The suspect – described as 6-foot-4 and weighing approximately 250 pounds – left in the victim’s Nissan Altima and drove away in an unknown direction. The witness described the suspect as a “large black man with facial hair,” Hutchinson said, noting police had no additional information Thursday.

Police searched a couple of possible leads Wednesday in Franklin, but came up empty-handed. Hutchinson said there were “pings” or signals sent between the victim’s stolen cellphone and towers in the area of the city, but that officers were unable to locate the phone or the suspect.

As part of the investigation, police are reviewing cruisers’ dash camera video, as well as surveillance footage captured on home cameras and at a local store near where the home invasion occurred, Hutchinson said. He noted that police officers had driven through the Zion Hill Road neighborhood earlier Wednesday and will be reviewing the dash camera video for any images of the suspect or suspicious activity prior to the crime.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact Sgt. Hutchinson at 286-8982.

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