, Salem, MA


August 16, 2010

Police: History of trouble at house hit by home invaders


Police went to the home on Oct. 24, 2008, to break up an underage drinking party, according to the letter. They arrived to find an 18-year-old urinating on the sidewalk and in possession of a 30-pack of beer.

"Kathleen Sullivan (who lives there), the only adult present, had assured officers at the door it was a birthday party, and alcohol was not allowed in the home," Ray wrote. "Officers subsequently found 30 underage youths in possession of 141 cans of beer, bottles of liquor and 21 bags of marijuana. Arrests, warrants and summonses resulted."

Sullivan, whom police identified as the owner's sister, declined to comment and referred questions to her son, Derek, who also did not comment.

Ray sent the letter to Thomas Sullivan after receiving numerous complaints from neighbors, said Officer April Clarizia, the department's public information officer.

One complaint describes a pit bull running loose. Others describe teenagers making noise late at night. "One of the scariest moments I remember," one neighbor wrote, "occurred a couple years ago at 3:30 a.m. The son was screaming ... at his girlfriend who was half-dressed in only a bra and shorts. ... She was running through the neighborhood scared for her safety."

After the letter went out, Clarizia said, police met with neighbors and, separately, with Kathleen Sullivan, outlining plans to check on the house multiple times each night.

"Since the letter and the directed patrol, we haven't had as many calls to that house or complaints by neighbors," Clarizia said.

According to police, from April 2009 through Friday, there have been 21 calls to the house. (Clarizia said an earlier figure she gave of six calls in the past year was incorrect.)

Clarizia said neighbors and residents in general should not be worried.

"I know it is dramatic, and it can be very unnerving for the neighbors," she said. "The Police Department does believe it is an isolated incident."

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