Surveillance video from the stores was shared with other departments.
But the spree continued; on May 13, a woman noticed a man walking through the woods near Bradley Palmer State Park carrying a child’s backpack, then discovered that her own car had been broken into. Her credit card was later used at a Saugus Kmart.
In August, a woman reported that her car was broken into in Hamilton, and the card used at the Topsfield Shell station.
And in September, Topsfield police received a report of a purse being stolen from a car at Hood’s Pond. The owner of the car said her mother had left her purse inside the vehicle and it was gone. In that case, Mansfield also took a GPS and a camera.
Those cards were used at a Mobil station on Route 1 just north of the Ferncroft Rotary.
Nearly all of the stores were able to provide police with surveillance video, and Mansfield was recognized by a Topsfield officer who had dealt with him previously.
Mansfield told Lu that he had been diagnosed in the past with bipolar disorder, but also said he does not believe he still has the illness and has not received treatment in the past four years.
Mansfield received credit for the nearly two years he’s spent in custody awaiting trial. He’ll have to serve a total of at least five years before he is eligible for parole.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.