WOBURN, MA – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that Gabriel Estuardo Rojas, 28 of Methuen, and Manuel Jose Lopez, 24 of Lawrence, have pled guilty to multiple charges in connection with seven burglaries and break-ins that occurred between November 22, 2019, and January 27, 2020, across 11 communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Gabriel Estuardo Rojas pleaded guilty to four counts of unarmed burglary, three counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, two counts of receiving stolen goods over $1200, receiving stolen property, possession of burglarious instruments, and conspiracy. Rojas was sentenced to five to seven years in state prison, followed by two years of probation.
Manuel Jose Lopez pleaded guilty to three counts of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering a building in the daytime, two counts of receiving stolen goods over $1200, receiving stolen property, possession of burglarious instruments, and conspiracy. Lopez was sentenced to three to four years in state prison, followed by two years of probation.
The resolution of the case comes after a 15-month long investigation conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in partnership with the New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN), and detectives from the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Andover, Belmont, Boston, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Haverhill, Lawrence, Malden, Methuen, Nashua NH, Natick, Needham, Newton, Pelham NH, Salem NH, Sharon, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Waltham, Wellesley, Weston, Westford, Wilmington, and Windham, NH Police Departments and the U.S. Secret Service.
On December 12, 2019, Pelham, New Hampshire Police Detectives and Patrol Units responded to a daytime burglary in progress at a home on Longpond Drive in Pelham, NH. The suspects fled into a wooded area close to the Massachusetts border before officers arrived. After the report, detectives were able to share information on the case with multiple agencies experiencing similar burglaries in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The subsequent investigation allowed detectives to identify surveillance videos and records linking the defendants to several burglaries. Police searched the defendants’ residences pursuant to search warrants, recovering clothing, tools, a rented SUV believed to be used in the incidents, the defendants’ cell phones as well as numerous articles of stolen property from Rojas’s apartment. A search of their cellphones pursuant to a search warrant allowed the detectives to identify messages between the defendants and others allegedly related to a wide-ranging burglary conspiracy. Investigators obtained search warrants issued by the Superior Court to analyze the location data for the defendants’ cell phones. This established that one or both of the defendants’ cell phones communicated with cell towers close to the breaks at the time they are believed to have occurred, often traveling from the areas where the defendants lived to the sites of the break-ins.
As the investigation progressed, Gabriel Estuardo Rojas was arrested and charged with being in possession of a stolen motorcycle on May 21, 2020, by Nashua Police. Following that arrest, investigators identified a self-storage unit he rented in Tyngsborough. On July 16, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant and located property in the defendants’ names at that storage unit. They also recovered three motorcycles that had been stolen in May and June of 2020 and approximately $5000 of stolen Snap-On tools, among other suspected stolen property.
The prosecutors assigned to this case is Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Graham Van Epps and Doug Cannon.