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Thefts from cars at nursing homes on the rise in Bedford

Union Leader Correspondent

May 08. 2012 11:39PM

BEDFORD - Several car break-ins at area nursing homes have police on the watch and some health care workers on edge.

Bedford Police chief John Bryfonski said about seven break-ins have occurred since last week. Ridgewood Center and The Arbors nursing homes were two of the targets. At least one break-in occurred at Hackett Hill Healthcare Center in Manchester, where thieves broke into two cars.

'I am severely worried because I clearly don't have the money to fix the windshield,' said Catrina Anderson, an Eliot Hospital phlebotomist who travels to several area nursing homes each morning, including the three that were subject to the burglaries.

'They are waiting till there's no one in sight and coming in and smashing the windows and running off with ladies' purses and personal belongings,' Anderson said, adding that she's constantly on alert.

Anderson noted that the facilities targeted are set back from the street.

'I just don't understand people's mindsets. I find it devastating.'

Bryfonski said police are investigating leads and will look at putting patrols in the area where these crimes have occurred.

The break-ins come at a time of rising property crimes in Bedford. Bryfonski said prescription drug abuse is a key factor behind a significant amount of burglaries and robberies.

But it's too early to tell on this case, he said. 'It's the vagaries of criminal behavior. It's someone seeking targets of opportunity for quick and easy money.'

Bryfonski urged residents to contact police over any suspicious activity in nursing home parking lots.

'Let's keep an eye on Bedford, and if you see something give us a call,' he said.

The Bedford police can be reached at 472-5113.

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