SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 22, 2013

Man gets 5-6 years for purse thefts across North Shore

SALEM — Women who enjoy walking through the North Shore’s many recreational areas were the target of a Lawrence man who admitted in court yesterday to breaking into their cars to steal the handbags and wallets they’d left locked inside.

Eric Mansfield, 42, was sentenced to five to six years in state prison after pleading guilty yesterday to breaking into five cars parked at Hood’s Pond in Topsfield, Bradley Palmer State Park in Hamilton and Maudslay State Park in Newburyport over a nearly five-month period in 2011.

The sentence was the result of a plea agreement reached between prosecutors Jean Curran and Ashlee Logan and defense lawyer Mark Schmidt, and accepted by Salem Superior Court Judge John Lu.

Under the terms of the deal, a charge of being a common and notorious thief — reflecting Mansfield’s lengthy record of similar crimes — was dropped. Instead, Mansfield pleaded guilty to five counts of breaking and entering, six counts of larceny, and six counts of credit card fraud.

The thefts occurred between April and September 2011, the first one reported in Newburyport, where two women had locked their purses and wallets in a car while walking at Maudslay State Park. They later discovered that their credit cards had been used, Logan told the judge yesterday.

That was Mansfield’s pattern, prosecutors say. He frequently used the cards very soon after stealing them, often at a gas station. Then, if the cards were still active, he would try for bigger purchases. In the case of the Newburyport women, that meant trips to two nearby Wal-Mart stores on the same day, April 27, where he rang up fraudulent charges of more than $500 at one store, in Plaistow, N.H., and then tried to do the same at the second store in Methuen, where the card was declined.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Comments Tracker