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Norfolk teen home sick from school foils reported burglary suspects


NORFOLK (FOX 25 / – Police in Norfolk arrested two suspects wanted in connection with several residential housebreaks that occurred on Tuesday.

Michael Couto, 45, New Bedford, and Chelsea Smith, 21, Mashpee, are facing multiple felony charges, including breaking and entering, breaking and entering while placing a person in fear, larceny, and malicious destruction.

Police responded to a residence on Lafayette Lane around 12:19 p.m. after the homeowner reported returning home and finding their house had been burglarized. The suspects reportedly stole jewelry, cash and a laptop from the master bedroom. The resident told police that she had not been gone long, indicating the break-in had just occurred.

Upon arrival, police secured the home; however, while they were waiting for additional authorities, police received another call from a 16-year-old Cleveland Street resident who was home sick from school and heard intruders at her home around 12:49 p.m.

The teen grabbed a phone, dialed 911, and went into the basement where she waited for police to arrive.

Norfolk Patrolman Eric VanNess, who was working a road detail nearby, heard the call on his portable radio and responded to the scene.

VanNess pulled in the driveway and was checking the rear of the home when he encountered the two suspects. He was able to hold them at gunpoint on a rear second story deck.

A pillowcase containing jewelry was located nearby.

The third robbery was reported by another Cleveland Street resident around 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday.

Police saw several pillow cases, jewelry boxes, and electronic equipment inside the suspect's vehicle which was found at the scene. Police plan on obtaining a search warrant to seize the items from the vehicle and try to determine where the other items may have been stolen from.