BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — DANVERS — Four people have been charged with breaking into the Danvers Electric Light plant early Monday, a burglary thwarted by an alarm and a nearby resident who overheard the four discussing their plans and called 911.
Two of the suspects, including a man who was just put on federal parole last month after serving a 40-month term for gun and drug charges, are being held on bail. Two others are free on the condition that they stay away from the Burroughs Road facility while the case is pending, following their arraignments yesterday in Salem District Court.
Ronald Cairne, 24, of Lynn, was ordered held on $20,000 bail at the request of a prosecutor. Kimberly Gregware, 39, of Lynn, a former Marblehead businesswoman, was ordered held on $2,000 bail by Judge Matthew Nestor. Gregware is also facing drug possession charges after pills were found in her Subaru.
Two others, Katelyn O’Neil, 19, of Rochester, N.H., and Kenneth Smith, 19, of Seabrook, N.H., were released on personal recognizance.
Prosecutor Lindsay Shaheen said police responding to an alarm saw two men inside the locked gates of the municipal electric plant. The men scrambled back over the fence and ran when they saw police.
One of the men, Smith, was found hiding behind a tree on the grounds of the Peabody Institute Library, Shaheen said. He allegedly confessed, “I was stupid. I made a mistake,” and said he needed the money.
Police then stopped a green Subaru that a nearby resident had seen leaving the area, and said O’Neil, Smith’s girlfriend, also immediately made a statement admitting involvement.
Police found burglary tools in the Subaru, including a crow bar and wire snips, as well as an iPhone running an app that plays police broadcasts and a portable police radio scanner tuned to the Danvers police frequency, Shaheen told the judge.
Back at the plant, police found two pairs of bolt cutters on the ground, the prosecutor said.
Police are also reviewing video surveillance images from the plant.
Lawyers for the four urged Nestor to release their clients.
Gregware’s attorney, Tom Gately, said his client is a licensed manicurist who until a recent family tragedy ran a successful nail salon in Marblehead, where she grew up and graduated from high school.
Cairne’s attorney, Meghan Taylor, urged that her client be released, too, suggesting that he knows he will have to report to his federal parole officer. She questioned the strength of the case against him.
Police did not note any missing items from the plant. The theft of copper wire from utility companies has been a frequent problem for police and the utilities in recent years due to the value of copper.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 13.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.