SAUGUS — When Paul Spadafora opened his eyes to a slim figure standing in his hallway, he knew something was not right.
“I said ‘good morning’ twice and then I noticed the long, black hair,” he said. “My wife has gray hair. I knew somebody was in my house.”
Spadafora, whose home was broken into on Saturday morning, said his first concern was with his wife, Donna, who sleeps in a different bedroom because she is recovering from a medical condition. He called to her multiple times until she woke up and told him that she was OK, then instructed her to call 911.
“I passed the spare bedroom and everything was thrown all over the place,” he said. “In the bathroom, the medicine cabinets were wide open. I came downstairs and the drawers in the hutch were open. I knew we were in trouble and somebody was in our house at that time.”
The intruder left the screen door propped open and made a quick escape, said Spadafora, but he was seen on a neighbor’s surveillance video trying to break into cars. When Spadafora saw the images, he knew right away that the suspect was the same person that was in his home.
“There are videos of the sleazeball trying to break into cars,” he said. “He had the long, black ponytail, no shirt and red shorts. He’s the same dirtball.”
The thief stole gift cards, credit cards, 100 checks, blood pressure medication, iPads, an Amazon Echo device, glasses and several other belongings.
But above all else, the feeling of an intruder going through the family’s home while they were asleep upstairs is weighing heavily on their minds.
Police are also investigating several car break-ins that occurred over the weekend.
“We are actively investigating this and trying to make a determination as to whether it is related,” said Interim Police Chief Ronald Giorgetti. “We are actively investigating the car breaks and reviewing surveillance in hopes to identify the individuals responsible.”
Police patrols have been increased in affected areas, said Giorgetti.
The weekend police log listed break-ins to cars on Makepeace Street, Myrtle Street and Hammersmith Road on Friday. On Saturday, reports flowed in from Hampton Street, Foss Avenue, Pinecrest Avenue and Warren Street. Sunday reports included Ballard Street and Greenwood Avenue, and one car breaking and entering was reported on Bates Street on Monday.
In addition, residents on Reynold Drive, Magnolia Street and Scotts Mill Court reported damage to car windows over the weekend.
“We believe there were two different areas of breaks committed by two different individuals,” said Giorgetti. “We are working on trying to identify them and hope to have more information by the end of the week.”
Saugus Police are asking residents to cooperate with the investigation by reporting any suspicious activity, keeping doors to their cars and homes locked, and leaving valuables out of sight. Giorgetti is also advising residents to use motion detection lights when possible.