The following is from the Norwood Police Department:
On Friday, Dec. 28 at about 2:00 p.m., a woman reported to Norwood Police that her car had been broken into while parked in the lot at Pier One Imports. Officer Eric Kascavitch headed to the scene to investigate.
In the meantime, Officer Robert Harkins, who was working plainclothes in an anticrime unit, headed for the parking lot of Work Out World (WOW) on Route 1. Officer Harkins knew that the parking lots of fitness centers had been recent targets for vehicle break-ins and that cars parked at WOW had been hit during the fall months. Upon pulling into the WOW lot, Officer Harkins spotted a green Ford pickup. He had seen photos of a similar truck at roll call as area surveillance cameras had captured it in the area of recent breaks. As Officer Harkins watched, the driver got out of the truck and approached an SUV. He was at the side of the SUV only a few moments and then returned to his truck carrying something in his hands.
Officer Harkins called for marked units and then followed the truck as it left the lot. As he drove by the SUV, he saw that it had a broken side window and there was glass on the ground beside it. As Officer Harkins followed the pickup, he was joined by Detective Sergeant Robert Rinn in an unmarked cruiser, and marked cruisers driven by Sergeant Michael Benedetti and Officers Dylan Haldiman and Brian Riley. The officers signaled the truck to stop on Route 1 near Boch Toyota and arrested the operator, Roderick L. Johnson, 47, of 56 Wood Avenue, Mattapan. Inside the truck, they found the GPS stolen from the car at Pier One. They also recovered a painting, a cell phone and quarters that had been stolen from the SUV.
Johnson has a lengthy criminal record. He has been charged with breaking into both vehicles and as of the posting of this information, is being held at Norwood Police Headquarters.
Anticrime is a plainclothes patrol and surveillance unit. Officers assigned to anticrime target areas of town where crimes have recently occurred.