• FOX25 digs into background of man police believe stole guns from Army Reserve


    (MyFoxBoston.com) -- FOX25 did some digging on James Morales, the man police believe stole more than a dozen firearms from the Army Reserve in Worcester.

    We have learned more about his criminal history and his past here in Massachusetts. FOX25's Crystal Haynes went to Carlisile Street, just behind one of Morales' last known addresses. In one word people here are shocked and the police commissioner is frustrated at the lack of communication in this investigation.

    Convicted batterer, accused child rapist, and now alleged gun thief. The 34-year-old former US Army Reservist is charged with breaking into the Worcester Armory stealing guns and high-powered rifles. 

    Neighbor Kevin Reddick said, "He's a good person."

    Reddick said he was shocked when what he said were SWAT teams with dogs enter his neighbor's apartment. A Bronx native, Morales was reportedly living in Cambridge for at least two years.

    Haynes knocked on the unit listed in court paperwork for Morales and got no response. 

    "He's just really cool. He's a really calm, collected person," Reddick said. 

    But court documents paint a different picture. FOX25 pulled Morales' court records and documents show a 2013 conviction for assault and battery and just last May he appeared before a judge on child rape charges and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet among other conditions.

    The same bracelet federal prosecutors say he cut off during the armory robbery, and should have sent an alert to the State Department of Probation immediately. 

    Deputy Chief Edward McGinn from Worcester police said, "I was not really aware that he was on probation nor had a bracelet. We were involved to some degree with the FBI in so far as the investigation."

    Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas said, "I think there was somewhat of a breakdown in terms of communication."

    Worcester's deputy chief and Haas say their departments weren't even notified Morales had violated his probation.  

    "What kind of breakdown was there? Like you just pointed out. We didn't know about the bracelet right away," Hass said. "We weren't notified about the bracelet breach. We could have helped if we knew about that."

    We reached to the Department of Probation, but they did not provide a comment. 

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